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Balancing the Books – Wirral’s biggest ever financial challenge

Wirral Council’s cabinet will tonight (Thursday) meet to discuss proposals designed to deliver “radical reforms” to how services are delivered to tackle its budget challenge of £132M savings by 2020.

Cabinet will be presented be presented with a four-year budget plan which could move many existing services to new organisations and proposes increases in revenue and income targets from business rates, council tax and fees and charges.

Cllr Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council, said: “In financial terms, the removal of the Revenue Support Grant means the only money available to invest in our borough, and the services residents rely on, will be money we can raise ourselves.

“Simply put, by 2020, Wirral will be going it alone and must be self-sufficient.

“This act by the Government means councils like Wirral must make radical reforms to how we deliver services, how we strengthen our economy, support businesses growth and encourage new firms to move here and create jobs.”

“Since 2010, we have managed to somehow deal with massive budget reductions while largely protecting front-line services and residents from the worst of the cuts. We’ve used our reserves, sold assets and asked our staff and partners to do a lot more with a lot less.

“But for next year and beyond, minor reductions to services, small increases in charges, will no longer get the job done. We need a major, fundamental redesign of how the council works and how it provides services.

“We will create new companies, charitable trusts and social enterprises – better capable of delivering our residents with high-quality front-line services in a more efficient and commercial way than we can currently provide.”