Wirral Council £42m cuts proposed

Wallasey Town Hall
Image caption A final decision will be made at a full council meeting in March

Wirral Council has said it needs to cut 350 posts as part of plans to cut £42m from its budget next financial year.

The authority will also ask staff to take five days of unpaid leave a year as it tries to reduce costs.

One day centre for adults with learning disabilities and two care homes will close. Sponsorship of Tranmere Rovers Football Club will also come to an end.

All children's centres and libraries will stay open however, and pensioners' council tax discount will be protected.

But the Labour council leader Phil Davies said the authority's element of the council tax will be raised by 1.6%.

A final decision will be made at a full council meeting in March.

The council currently employs about 4,800 staff members who would be affected by the leave changes and at risk from job cuts.

Kennels reprieve

Mr Davies said: "We face a major cut from central government, which amounts to £109m that we need to find in savings over three years, which is equivalent to about a third of our budget."

The council announced £1m will be invested in a new "youth zone" and £300,000 will be invested in a project to tackle poverty led by Labour MP for Birkenhead Frank Field.

An extra £50,000 will also be spent on improving road safety around schools.

Ending the deal with Tranmere, which has been in place since the 1989/90 season, is set to save the council £135,000 a year.

Mr Davies said the council had rejected the budget option to remove maintenance of some parks and bowling greens, and had given Birkenhead dog kennels a reprieve from closure.

He said by delaying the decision in the budget it would allow the Friends of Birkenhead Kennels to submit an alternative proposal for consideration.

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