Sefton Council Cabinet Members are to discuss further options which could achieve a balanced budget plan for the next two years.

Following the announcement of further funding cuts by the Government just before Christmas a significant amount of work has been carried out to find further potential savings.

The Government Settlement for Local Authorities, announced in December, came as a massive blow for Sefton Council as it was already struggling to find targeted savings of around £43 million.

The announcement added another £7 million to that amount -meaning the council will have lost around £114 million from its annual budget by the end of this round of cuts.

This is a much bigger figure than the council was expecting and one which will be very difficult to achieve.

The latest report shows options as to how Sefton could potentially save a total of £50 million over the next two years -in addition to the £64 million it has already saved. Cuts of such a level will continue to have a major impact on the community.

Sefton Council Leader, Cllr Peter Dowd, said: “It is hard to believe how this level of cuts in Sefton could be seen as fair. Some of the savings we have already had to make have had a devastating effect on our communities, and they are likely to be hit hard again.

“Making cuts of £43 million for the next two years was bad enough but now we are faced having to make decisions which will inflict significantly more pain for our communities.

“These further cuts, now totalling £50 million, are as a direct result of the Government reducing its funding to Sefton Council.

“The council is currently consulting on a range of options and this will continue. But we have also had to look, once again, at our budget options and cut deeper into services so that we can balance our budget – which we are legally required to do.”

Sefton Council’s Cabinet will discuss the latest options at its meeting on Thursday, January 31. No final decisions will be made until a meeting of the Full Council at the end of February where the budget will be set.

Sefton is working towards a two year budget plan as it looks to reshape the council to meet the needs and priorities of the future in such a financially restricted environment.