John H Hutchinson

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

According to "Council Tax Index 2019/20" at
https://propertydata.co.uk/council-tax

WMBC Council Tax for Band D is described as being "Very High Tax" ranked 117th out of 151 Councils and Local Authorities.

What are the reasons that may account for Wirral's high Council Tax demand, please?

On page 5 of "Council Tax explained 2019 - 2020" at
https://www.wirral.gov.uk/sites/default/...

under "Financial Summary" there is a breakdown of Levies, Precepts, External support (Less) along with an indication of how spending has changed.

How do these figures compare with, say, Trafford that stands at 35th out of 151, being at the same position above the lowest Band D Tax rate as WMBC's is the below the highest?

I note that Thurrock, which stands at 31st, and that Cornwall, standing at 118 are boroughs with seaport, fisheries and flood defence similarities to WMBC. What accounts for the differences, please, in their Band D ratings.

The explanations given by commentators on social media are that WMBC's high Council Tax is due to wasted money on such as feasibility studies and the proposed golf resort at Hoylake, settlement of early terminated contractors, poorly negotiated contracts for road repairs and street lighting, fireworks displays, lending money to other councils, consultants and high salaries for senior officers. I am sure that these are not the answers because all Councils face similar needs and costs, except for the salaries of senior officials that rank for WMBC amongst the highest in the land.

WMBC is facing the same level of cuts in its Core Grant as other local authorities so that cannot be the reason. What are the main influences on our high rate of Band D Council Tax?

Yours faithfully,

John H Hutchinson

John H Hutchinson

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

I shall be grateful to receive your delayed response.

Yours faithfully,

John H Hutchinson

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Hutchinson

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your enquiry. Council resources remain stretched and under pressure but we are doing all we can to obtain a response to your enquiry as quickly as we are able.

Yours sincerely

Lynette Paterson
Principal Information Management Officer
Wirral Council
Treasury Building
Cleveland Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

Tel: 0151 691 8201
Email: [Wirral Borough Council request email]

Visit our website: www.wirral.gov.uk

show quoted sections

John H Hutchinson

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,
Council's response is long overdue.

We hope that Council is not using Covid-19 as an excuse for avoiding this and other legal obligations.

Yours sincerely,

John H Hutchinson

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Hutchinson

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay in providing you with the
following response to your Freedom of Information enquiry.

 

What are the reasons that may account for Wirral's high Council Tax
demand, please?

o Please refer to the recorded information held on the Wirral website
for 2020/21 Council Tax explained via the following link-
  [1]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/council-tax/wh...

 

How do these figures compare with, say, Trafford that stands at 35th out
of 151, being at the same position above the lowest Band D Tax rate as
WMBC's is the below the highest?

I note that Thurrock, which stands at 31st, and that Cornwall, standing at
118 are boroughs with seaport, fisheries and flood defence similarities to
WMBC.  What accounts for the differences, please, in their Band D ratings.

 

o The Council does not hold comparative Council Tax information in terms
of other local authorities and their specific reasons for setting
Council Tax at their local levels, nor do we compare ourselves to
other local authority areas for Council Tax setting purposes. We
cannot comment on other local authorities’ Council Tax levels.

 

WMBC is facing the same level of cuts in its Core Grant as other local
authorities so that cannot be the reason.  What are the main influences on
our high rate of Band D Council Tax?

o Please refer to the  recorded information held on the Wirral website
for 2020/21 Council Tax explained via the following link
[2]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/council-tax/wh...

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Principal Information Management Officer

Wirral Council

Treasury Building

Cleveland Street

Birkenhead

Wirral

CH41 1AH

 

Email: [3][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

Visit our website: [4]www.wirral.gov.uk

 

 

 

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References

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1. https://www.wirral.gov.uk/council-tax/wh...
2. https://www.wirral.gov.uk/council-tax/wh...
3. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
4. http://www.wirral.gov.uk/

John H Hutchinson

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

Your response does not answer my questions. The reasons for that are understandable as to give a reasonable response would be self-critical.

I did not ask WMBC to comment upon Band D of other Authorities.

I am surprised that WMBC does not compare its Band D with that of other Councils as that would give the Council reliable information regarding its own efficiency of service delivery.

It is clear from the results that we of Wirral Borough are badly served with high rates of inefficiency.

Yours sincerely,

John H Hutchinson