Large response to council cuts survey

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Wirral Borough Council headquarters at Wallasey Town Hall © Calotype46/CreativeCommons/Flickr

Wirral Borough Council headquarters at Wallasey Town Hall © Calotype46/CreativeCommons/Flickr

More than 6,600 people have responded to Wirral Council’s consultation to offer their views on how spending reductions next year should be made.

Wirral Chief Executive Graham Burgess has urged everyone to have their say in the ‘future council’ scheme, which allows those who respond to suggest creative ideas that could help to save the council £2.5m. The funds will contribute towards the £45m the council hopes to have saved by 2017, despite having already saved more than £100m.

Current proposals include: reducing the opening hours in smaller community libraries, removing school crossings in areas that have existing road safety measures, charging for car parking at countryside parks and introducing joint services between the NHS and Girtrell Court, a Wirral care home.

The consultation has come in the wake of the proposals by the council’s Conservative leader Jeff Green to cut numbers of councillors in the Wirral by a third, from 66 to 44 – saving hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Councillor Jean Stapleton told JMU Journalism: “There is no doubt that the cuts will be felt by both staff and service users, but the Labour Group at Wirral Council is determined that the people with the broadest shoulders will bear the biggest burden and we will do everything we can to mitigate the impact of the vicious Tory/Lib Dem Coalition Government’s cuts on the people of Wirral.

“As far as the number of councillors is concerned, the Labour Group will be looking at every aspect of expenditure in Wirral, including the number of councillors. The Mayor directed that the motion be sent to one of the scrutiny committees to be considered in more detail. No doubt recommendations will be going forward to cabinet in due course.”

The survey can be accessed online to give opinions on the proposals and the consultation will close on Friday 31st October.

About Anthony Fisher, JMU Journalism