Council tax up by 49p per week!
COUNCIL TAX for Liverpool City
Council services is to go up by 3.3 per cent from April 06. This
means a 49p a week rise for Band A properties, paid by the vast
majority of tax payers in Liverpool.
The increase is substantially below the average tax rise being
levied nationwide, expected to be 4.5 per cent. City council leader
Councillor Warren Bradley said:- "We have listened very
carefully to local people before agreeing this rise. They want to
see improvements to services they have seen over recent years
continue, but they also want to see a tight rein kept on the
We have achieved this. We have kept the council tax increase to a
minimum, we are saving £6.3 million through an efficiency drive and
at the same time protecting services such as educating our children
and looking after the elderly.
We are investing extra cash to improve services that the public has
told us are a priority. All youngsters under 17 will be able to
apply for a FREE pass to use the city's sports, leisure and fitness
centres. This will help young people keep fit, develop their talents
and give them something positive to do with their time.
Recycling is another priority. We will be piloting a comprehensive
doorstep collection service to vastly improve our recycling rates,
with the aim of rolling out the new service throughout the city.
And we are launching a radical new plan to give local communities a
greater say in the services that affect their lives. In future,
local people will decide the priorities for their area - from
everything from community safety measures, and street cleansing to
highway repairs and maintenance of parks and open spaces.
This will mean over the next three years millions of pounds being
spent by local neighbourhood committees, made up of local
councillors and community representatives. They are the best people
to decide on local priorities."
The improved recycling service will cost an additional £250,000 and
free leisure passes for young people £170,000. The city council is
also increasing its contribution to the Liverpool Culture Company by
a further £1 million to a total of £9.6million next year, as the
city gears-up to the Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.
£253 million is to be paid directly to the city's 184 schools. In a
prudent measure recommended by the Audit Commission, the council has
again increased its working balances, which will be at their highest
ever level of £7million, at the end of the financial year.
The levy for Police services is to rise by 5 per cent for 06/07, and
3.6 per cent for Fire and Rescue services. The total increase for
all council services and levies next year is 3.6 per cent.
Councillor Keith Turner, the executive member for resources, said:-
"We have worked incredibly hard to keep the council tax rise
down to a minimum. Our grant settlement from the government went up
by just two per cent , one of the lowest in Britain, and did not
even cover the increase in our wage bill. But we have looked very
hard at the budget to come up with the savings needed to keep our
number one pledge to the people of Liverpool: To keep the Council
Tax down as low as possible.
Over half of our budget, a massive £364 million, is spent on
children. Our education and services for young people have been
recognised by Ofsted and the Audit Commission as some of the best in
the country. We are proud of this record. We have been able to
transform these services with record levels of investment - and this
has only been achieved by the excellent management of the council's
We have cut costs and reduced waste by a massive £120m million in
recent years, enabling that cash to be reinvested in services and to
keep the council tax down.
Seven years ago we had the highest council tax in the land and the
third worst services. Now we are plummeting down the council tax
list of shame and are now well outside the top 100 highest council
tax. Many of our services are now recognised as being among the
In addition to the council's revenue budget, the Council has also
approved its capital programme for next year. More than £200 is
being invested in major projects, including the new Kings Dock
arena, the new Olympic-sized pool at Picton and improvements to
roads and pavements.
Tax bands and amounts payable for 06/07 are:-
Band Liverpool City Council Services Fire and Rescue Service Police
A £767.54 £37.21 £80.97 £885.72
B £895.46 £43.42 £94.47 £1,033.35
C £1,023.39 £49.62 £107.96 £1,180.97
D £1,151.31 £55.82 £121.46 £1,328.59
E £1,407.16 £68.22 £148.45 £1,623.83
F £1,663.00 £80.63 £175.44 £1,919.07
G £1,918.85 £93.03 £202.43 £2,214.31
H £2,302.62 £111.64 £242.92 £2,657.18
The City Council approved its budget for 06/07 at a special meeting
held on Wednesday 8 March 06.
In Sefton however the Council Tax rise will be 5%! The final
increase will be decided at a budget council meeting on Thursday, 9
The proposed 5% council tax increase will mean eg:-
BAND A: Extra £3 a month = £36 per year.
BAND B: Extra £4 a month = £48 per year.
BAND C: Extra £4.58 month = £54.96 per year.
BAND D: Extra £5.15 month = £61.80 per year.
But Sefton will be cutting lots of services as well!
THE Friends of Walton Estate and
staff at Walton Hall and Gardens Children's Zoo were delighted to
hear that children from Broomfields Junior School wanted to adopt
animals using £480 they had raised through a non-uniform day.
They have adopted a wide range of animals at the zoo including
African pygmy goats, 'Bobo' the donkey, Shetland ponies, miniature
pot bellied pigs and rabbits.
The group adoption scheme was set up specifically for schools and
uniformed groups after a number of requests for such a scheme had
been received from teachers and group leaders.
The 'Adopt an Animal' scheme was started by the Friends of
Walton Estate to help raise funds for special projects at the
Children's Zoo. The scheme has gone from strength to strength since
it was launched in December 2003 and so far the money raised has
provided some magnificent new ornamental entrance gates for the zoo.
In August 2005, the gates were presented to the Mayor of Warrington,
Cllr Hans Mundry, who accepted them on behalf of the Council, by
chairman of the friends group Keith Inman and the Animal Adoption
Coordinator Beverly Batey.
Cllr Jeff Richards, Executive Board Member for Sustainable
Environment, said:- "I want to thank the school for deciding
to use their funds to be a part of this scheme and they will get
something back as they will receive regular updates about the
animals they have adopted. It's good to see that our young people do
get involved in their communities and take an active interest in the
environment. The scheme is proving to be very popular and has gone
from strength to strength since it was launched in December 2003."
The next project is currently under discussion between the Friends
and zoo staff and the adopters will be informed of the new project
in their newsletter.
If you would like more information on the Friends of Walton Estate
'Adopt an Animal scheme', please contact Lynne Stamp on 01925
warns small firms to be on alert for criminal scams!
A leading business pressure group
is warning small businesses to be on 'red
alert' for scams in the wake of a new ruse targeting
small Irish firms.
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) urged small firms to be vigilant
after a Swiss-based debt recovery agency contacted Irish companies
at the beginning of March demanding payment for being listed in a
'bogus' business directory. The Fairguide is an online directory
produced by Construct Data Verlag, an Austrian firm that is
currently facing injunction proceedings there, to prevent it from
collecting debts from companies invoiced for appearing in the guide.
It is alleged that the company uses misleading tactics to fool
companies into believing that the listing is free by sending out
mailshots to exhibitors at trade fairs who mistakenly consider it to
be a communication from the fair organiser. Some Irish businesses
have returned the form expecting a free listing in the Fairguide,
not realising that the small print commits them to paying several
hundred Euros a year for the service.
The FPB's National Chairman Len Collinson said criminals are always
on the lookout for easy money and see small businesses, particularly
start ups, as a soft touch.
"One of the FPB's key services to members is to provide advice for
firms if they suspect they are being sold a pup.
According to the OFT, Britons part with around £1 billion a year
to fraudsters. And sadly, technology has made it even easier for
fraudsters to extract cash from the unwary. They have taken to the
internet and the text message with glee and the OFT reckons that
around 30 million Britons are the subject of their attentions every
The all UK small businesses to be on 'red
alert' and take note of what has happened to the small
charge would be commercial suicide, warns FPB
AS Liverpool heads ever closer to
Capital Of Culture in 2008 the city is getting more and more
congested. One if the ideas that has been put on the table to 'free
up the roads' is to place a congestion charge on the city center FPB
is warning Liverpool City Council that a congestion charging scheme
would be ‘commercial suicide’ for the city’s business community. Len
Collinson, the Merseyside-based National Chairman of the FPB, said
on 28 Febuary 2006:- “I must issue a stark warning to
Liverpool that a congestion charging scheme risks seriously
undermining the small business community. Businesses will view these
proposals as more to do with creating another revenue raising cash
cow than tackling congestion. It should not be forgotten that
businesses are already being stung by the Mersey Tunnel toll, which
makes a reported £12m annual surplus for Merseytravel. Surely
traffic from Wirral could not be asked to pay the tunnel toll and a
congestion charge? And Liverpool is in the top five local
authorities outside London for issuing parking tickets. Moreover,
there is serious talk of the Runcorn-Widnes bridge being tolled.
Having a congestion charge in Liverpool on top of these existing
taxes, as well as fuel duty, would be extremely ill advised.”
One thing that has to be taken in to
account is that heavy traffic is now getting the city center more
grid locked week by week. One other idea is to get the government to
fund the Light Rail network, but that is looking like it will not go
ahead as they have lost the appeal to get the government to fund it.
If that and public transport is improved, then a congestion charge
with exemptions for delivery and other trade vehicles might be for
more acceptable. What are your views? Email us today at:-