Photo: Cllr Peter Dowd

Sefton Council has set its budget for 2015/16 with the implementation of a two-year plan to save more than £55 million.

The cuts have been necessary because of a significant reduction in Government funding for Sefton Council in the past number of years.

They come on the back of four years of spending reductions which have seen Sefton make savings of £114 million from services delivered to local communities.

By the end of 2017, the Council will have lost a staggering £169 million from its annual budget – which equates to 45% in real terms since 2011. This means Sefton communities, and the local economy, have lost 45p in every pound that the council was spending in 2011.

Given the scale of the total reductions, it means there will inevitably be an impact on services to local communities.

In order to try and reduce the impact of such reductions, the Council agreed last night (March 5) to increase this year’s Council Tax charge by 1.99%. This equates to an increase of just under 50p a week for Sefton residents for a Band D property.

Cllr Peter Dowd, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “Yet again we have had to set a very difficult budget in light of the consequences of massive cuts to our funding by the Government.

“Spelling this out very simply, our real terms spending is getting close to half the amount that it was in 2011 and this is bound to impact upon really important services.

“Due to the scale of the cuts, we are again setting a two-year budget plan so we can ensure the delivery of savings is planned and some proposals can be timed to be implemented later in the two-year period in case circumstances change.

“We have always been transparent and open about our savings proposals and we have listened to people and made sure that we have reviewed all options before making the decisions we have made.”

The 1.99% rise to Council Tax means the annual bill for an average Band D property for 2015/16 will now be £1,317.60 for Sefton services (£1, 548.75 including Police and Fire). This does not include some Parish precepts.

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