AS Wirral Council’s ruling Labour group prepares to set out its spending plans for the coming year, Tories have revealed their alternative budget for a ruthless cost-cutting cull.

Among those in the Conservatives' firing line are press and PR officers, consultants, “back-office” managers - and councillors themselves.

They also propose swinging the axe on the town hall’s Wirral View newspaper.

And they say a major review of salaries of the most senior officers should be conducted, pointing out eight of them are on £100,000-plus a year while the chief executive earns more than the Prime Minister.

Next Monday’s budget council meeting will see the Labour administration formally present its plans to slash £45m from spending and increase council tax by almost 5% as it tries to shore-up the authority's threadbare finances.

The opposition Tory group's proposals will be tabled as “amendments” to Labour’s budget and include:

Halving the number of staff employed in press and PR/marketing from 18 down to nine (£350,000 saving).

Reducing the complement of 66 councillors by one-third to 44 (£300,000).

Deleting the newly-created £350-per-day post of investor development manager (£80,000).

Scrapping development work on the Jack Nicklaus Hoylake golf course (£200,000).

Closing down Wirral View (£150,000).

Strict limits on cash for consultants and 'interim' bosses.

Axing plans to charge for car parking in country parks.

Earmarking £1m to revamp respite care centre Girtrell Court.

Conservative group leader Cllr Jeff Green said: “We are seeking to amend the Labour budget so we have a council that works for everyone.

“A prime example of how out of touch Labour have become is their proposal to increase car parking tariffs across the borough and introduce car parking charges at Wirral’s parks.

“We believe that this is simply wrong.

“Our amendment would block the implementation of these charges paid for by ceasing the unnecessary, undelivered and unwanted council newspaper Wirral View and making reductions in the back-office."

The council's current cash crisis has been described by leader Cllr Phil Davies as "the most challenging ever." 

But he has said he will cut frontline services only as a last resort.

Higher paid town hall managers have been warned their jobs will be axed if necessary to divert cash into services such as road repairs, child safeguarding and protecting the vulnerable.

Councillor Davies told the Globe: “As usual opposition parties submit their amendments to my proposals, and equally predictably, they do little to address the challenges Wirral and its residents face.

“While Wirral is set to make upwards of £45m in cuts and savings due to central Government's continued austerity policies, our local Tory party puts forward a budget entirely focused on cutting jobs rather than fighting to protect and improve local services.

“There is no word in their proposal which even acknowledges the £132m of savings the council is forced to make by 2020 due to ongoing draconian cuts in funding from Mrs May's Government.

“The Liberal Democrats - partners of the Tories under Cameron and Osborne - show an equal lack of concern.

“Residents expect better. They expect their elected representatives to stand up for them.”

He added: “It’s time for both parties to join me in calling on this Government to give Wirral a fair deal so residents can have the services they deserve.

“I have a simple question for Tory group leader councillor Jeff Green and his Lib-Dem counterpart Cllr Phil Gilchrist...

"Do you join me in calling for Wirral to get a fair deal from this Government?

"And if not, how much more money are you prepared to see taken out of local services before the next election?

“When is enough, enough?"