Similar to previous years, Sefton Council will provide restricted services only throughout Christmas and New Year – as most staff are required to take unpaid leave as part of a series of cost-saving measures.

But residents can still access a range of information and transactions via the council website.

This includes checking revised bin collections, applying for licences, reporting environmental issues or paying council tax and business rates.

As a result of the unpaid leave, to be taken on December 29, 30, 31 and January 2, most council buildings will be closed, contributing to significant savings as Sefton strives to find a further £55m to balance its budget.

The One Stop Shops in Bootle and Southport will remain open on these dates as they are operated by an external provider.

Services that will continue to operate include critical social care services for adults and children, a limited street cleaning service, commercial waste collection and urgent highways issues, including gritting.

For bin collections, residents with wheelie bin collection will have an information sticker placed on their bins highlighting Christmas and New Year collections.

Individual letters will be delivered to show collection dates for the 14,000 properties that receive a weekly sack collection.

Similar to other years, the green wheelie bin collection for garden waste will be suspended from December and will return in 2015.

Some Sefton Council-run leisure centres will be open at varying times during these dates and users are advised to check the opening times.

Cllr Peter Dowd, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “We are continuing to make savings and efficiencies in all services due to significant reductions in Government funding. This shut-down period helps contribute to that but as I have said many times before, these continuing cuts are having an increasing impact on all our communities.

“Throughout the year staff have had their pay reduced in order to take four days unpaid leave. Other savings from the closure period come from the reduced need for heating, lighting and running buildings, equipment and vehicles.”

During this period, residents can still call 0845 140 0845 although most service requests will only be actioned beyond January 5. (As always, an automated phone service will be in place on Bank Holidays and weekends).


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