A move to three-weekly bin collections, higher parking charges and the closure of Europa Pools in Birkenhead are among Wirral Council’s possible cuts next year.

Council Tax could also rise by 5%, as the authority looks to balance its books.

Yesterday's meeting of Wirral Council’s policy and resources committee put forward a list of savings options which will now go out to the public for a consultation which begins on Monday.

The council must save £10m in the 2021/22 financial year.

Among the possible cuts is a move to only collecting green general waste bins every three weeks, while continuing to collect grey recycling bins every fortnight.

This could save Wirral Council £180,000.

The authority is anticipating that £1m will be gained by the council through a plan which will look at options to increase car parking charges and add charges where appropriate.

A council document read: "It is vital the council maximises its income where possible to ensure frontline services can be delivered.

"Parking charges can help control car use in busy locations, contributing to the council's climate emergency declaration outcomes by encouraging active travel and public transport [as] alternative transport modes, and potentially help address inequality across the borough by not unduly benefitting car owners."

Another proposal is to close Birkenhead’s Europa Pools.

Explaining this, the document added: "Birkenhead is about to undergo major regeneration which will include looking at the best options for future leisure provision.

"The saving which would be achieved by the closure of Europa Pools – which requires one of the highest levels of support of the borough’s leisure centres, would be £640,000.”

A number of valuable efficiency savings in areas such as the council’s IT staffing structure and printing are also proposed.

Although £10m worth of cuts need to be made for Wirral Council to balance its budget next year, it could have been a lot worse.

The authority has applied for a capitalisation directive from the government, a loan which would help to compensate the council for losses incurred during the pandemic.

The savings proposals being considered are to address non-Covid related pressures, caused by things such as contract inflation, pension increases and levies to organisations such as Merseytravel.

During the meeting, Cllr Janette Williamson, leader of Wirral Council, said it is important that councillors work to address the financial challenges the borough faces and do not engage in “petty politicking”.

The Labour councillor added that although the face-to-face consultation meetings of pre-Covid times would not be going ahead this time around, she wanted as many members of the public as possible to give their views on the savings options.

Information on how to contribute your opinion will be available on Wirral Council’s website when the consultation starts next week.

Conservative councillor Jeff Green said that although not a single member of the committee would be keen on some of the proposed cuts, they did need to be put forward given the circumstances.

He encouraged people to give suggestions of alternative cuts the council could make, as well as giving their views on the options the authority has proposed.

While Lib Dem group leader Cllr Phil Gilchrist acknowledged the hard work put into the proposals and said it was not easy to come up with them.