Wirral Council has today published its budget proposals ahead of Cabinet on 8th December. UNISON welcomes the fact that the Council has not been short sighted and has instead developed a 4 year proposal. These will be difficult times, given central governments continued assault on public finances and UNISON will defend the jobs, terms and conditions, and the working environments of our members.
The Council has to find £132m over the next 4 years and the proposals state £41m of savings will be achieved by Transformation and £94m generated by additional Income. Some additional scope has been included.
UNISON once again has expressed concerns with some of the optimistic income and transformation targets, whilst welcoming the fact that the terms and conditions of staff do not form part of the proposals.
In February/March 2017 reports will be sent to Cabinet on Leisure and Cultural Services with the possibility of delivering the services differently. The savings target for these are scheduled in the Cabinet report under paragraph 3.21 ‘Delivering Differently’. The majority are scheduled for 2020-21. This table is also clear that savings WILL be associated with Adult Social Care integration and also Access Wirral and managing demand on Children’s Services. We believe some of these will be challenging.
Housing Growth is on target this year which will generate additional income but new house build targets grow significantly from 700 for 2017-18, to 1000 for 2018-19, 3000 in 2019-20 and 3000 in 2020-21. These again will be challenging and optimistic.
UNISON encourages the Council to hold budget holders to account with these targets and ensure that they are achievable so members do not feel the detriment.
Published on: November 30, 2016