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In 2019/20 the Council will be in the final year of its Four Year Efficiency Plan.
Work will continue on implementing the remaining savings targets such as reducing the cost of management, increasing returns on investment property income and continuing with the digital strategy agenda by introduction of new digital technology and processes.
Whilst the Council’s financial position has slightly improved since February 2018, there is still a high level of uncertainty for the forecast. There are a number of unknowns such as impact of Brexit and impact from the Fair Fund Review/new business rates scheme.
The Council will monitor these closely along with other areas which may have a financial impact. The ultimate aim is for the Council to only spend within the funding level it receives, therefore the Budget Working Group will continue to review alternative areas for implementing efficiencies.
The Cabinet have formulated the budget proposals for 2019/20 and beyond. We would like your views on the areas below:
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The Cabinet propose to recommend a 2.99% increase in the Council Tax for 2019/20. This will mean an increase in Council Tax of 18p per week for a Band D property which will help to safeguard services.
It is proposed to use an annual £50k contribution from the Asbestos reserve to fund capital expenditure. This will reduce the annual cost of borrowing by £13k per annum.
The Council has been exploring with other councils and anchor institutions what interest there might be in exploring the establishment of one or more locally resourced and focused regional banks, given the reduction in branch numbers and in bank lending to local businesses.
It is proposed that due diligence work is carried out costing £10k in 2019/20.
Wirral Council will lead on the due diligence. An initial £1m capital investment is proposed subject to a further report to Council. There will be an annual revenue cost of £110k for the initial capital investment, investment returns are anticipated at a later date.
Contribution towards projects such as Connected Communities and working with Co-operatives.
The Cabinet will make a formal decision on what to propose to Council on 6 February 2019 in its meeting at 6pm in the Town Hall.
The proposals confirmed by Cabinet will be presented to the Council at its meeting on 28 February 2019 at 10am in the Town Hall.
The Council meeting will receive a full document setting out the Council’s priorities, performance and medium term financial strategy. Consultation responses received up to that day will also be included.
Any responses to this consultation, received by 5 February 2019, will be presented to Cabinet at the meeting, and if received by 27 February 2019, presented to the Budget Council meeting on 28 February 2019.
The cabinet budget proposals report can be found in the documents section on this page and highlights progress against our priorities, our key priorities and an introduction by the Leader Councillor Matthew Brown.
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