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Issue:- 24 February 2010

All–Party Budget Proposals Published

LIVERPOOL City Council has set out its budget proposals for 2011-12, with all party agreement on how it will make £91m savings during the year.  The proposals will be considered by the full council which meets to set the budget on Wednesday, 2 March 2011.

The unprecedented level of Government cuts has led all parties on the Council to put aside party political interests to produce the budget.  More than 80% of the Council’s funding comes from grants but these have been cut drastically with the loss of all of the area-based grant, some £110m, including grants targeted at deprived communities, working neighbourhood fund (£32m); supporting people (£11m) and grants for adult social care (£8m).

The Council has also had the maximum possible reduction in formula funding (8.9%) from the Government. The City Council has had its general revenue funding cut by over 22% in the next two years. A request to extend the period over which the cuts could be made has been rejected by Government.

The effect of the cuts in Government funding is that the city has a budget gap of £91m for 2011/12 and an additional £50m for 2012/13. In practical terms this has to be targeted at £400m of council expenditure.

Efficiency savings of more than £30m have been delivered so far in 2010/11 giving a total of £70.4m over the last three years. Savings this year include cutting half of senior management posts, saving £4.5m: £3.45m in reduction in the use of agency staff and £1.5m in reduced costs for consultants.  Earmarked Reserves of £13m have been released to smooth the level of cuts required in 2011/12.

The proposed budget is aimed at shielding the most vulnerable people, wherever possible, while still stimulating investment in the city’s economy. It aims to combine fairness with economic growth while recognising that cuts, which will be painful to implement, have to be made.

Councillor Joe Anderson, City Council leader, said:- “There is no disguising the fact that these are the most severe cuts we have had to make in generations. While we have tried to protect frontline services, especially those to vulnerable people, the sheer scale of the cuts mean that it has not always been possible to do that. We have had to make heartbreaking decisions which will cause real pain in our communities. That is a direct result of Liverpool being the hardest hit of any council in the reduction of grants, grants previously given in view of the levels of deprivation in the city. Unfortunately the deprivation remains but the money has been removed.”

Leader of the main Opposition, Liberal Democrats, Councillor Warren Bradley, said:- "Liverpool’s political parties were all in agreement over the need to come together to deliver this budget, following substantial changes in the way local government is financed. We had to put political differences to one side to ensure we delivered the best deal possible and to minimise the amount of job losses to the people of Liverpool.  Our priority has been to produce a budget which causes the least possible harm to our communities, but it has been extremely difficult. We have considered every possible option and left no stone unturned in our attempts to find savings, while protecting our most vital services.‪”

Councillor Steve Radford, Leader of the Liberal Group, said:- “It has been a first in living memory for councillors that we have sunk party differences to seek to deal with this horrendous budget situation and injustice where Liverpool has been more adversely impacted upon than any other city in the country. That aside, we have all had to make cutbacks we deeply resent but keeping the city solvent is vital to all our communities, our workforce and future reputation.”

Leader of the Green Party Group, Councillor Sarah Jennings, said:- “These unprecedented cuts from the Government will be absolutely devastating for Liverpool, and the decisions the city has had to make in setting its budget have been extremely difficult and painful.  The city’s political parties have responded to this uniquely perilous situation by working together on the budget, sharing ideas and trying to make sure every decision we make is fair.”

The budget proposals will be considered by the Cabinet and then the Finance and Resources Select Committee on 25 February 2011. Further consultation will take place and feedback received will be considered as well as the submissions from the consultation. The City Council will make the final decision about the budget on 2 March 2011. 

After the budget meeting the joint budget working group will continue to meet to ensure that work on the budget for 2012/13 can start.

The full budget proposals will be available online.

Comments are invited on the budget proposals for 2011/12 and should be sent via email or via writing to 'Budget Views, Chief Executive’s Office, Liverpool City Council, Municipal Buildings, Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2DH' before Wednesday, 2 March 2010. It has to be recognised that any savings not taken would have to be balanced elsewhere in the budget.

Rising numbers of jobless young people a waste to North West’s potential says recruitment body

THE Recruitment and Employment Confederation, the trade association representing the private recruitment industry is urging the Government to do more to help avoid a lost generation of unemployed 16 to 24 year olds, whose numbers continue to rise in areas such as Greater Manchester.  Latest figures show that the number of young people in that area looking for work currently stands at 22,300 while at the same time, the overall number of people seeking work in the North West region fell by 19,000 in the three month period ending in December 2010.

Commenting on the latest figures, Keith Gallagher, the REC’s director for the North West region said:- “One of the biggest challenges we face is demographic with a predicted major growth in the number of people aged over 50.  However, our concern is that there is a groundswell of young people who are not contributing to the local or regional economies which is a huge waste of the region’s potential. The Government has positioned itself as being pro jobs but now we need to move beyond promises to see real action.”

The REC has set up a Youth Employment Taskforce to address the main issues of getting young people back into work. Its report “Avoiding a Lost Generation” provided practical recommendations as to how this can be tackled through up skilling young people, offering them real experience in the world of work through placements and apprenticeships.

Keith Gallagher added:- “Even on a regional scale, there is a need for leading businesses in the area, private recruiters and other stakeholders such as education providers to find new ways of getting young people back into work. We believe the best method is for the Government to offer incentives to private businesses to hire young people.”


CHILDREN in Southport are in for a treat as Australian kids entertainers The Wiggles, celebrate their 20th birthday with a screening of ‘The Wiggles Greatest Hits In The Round’ on 12 and 13 March 2011.

The performance, which was recorded live from Sydney’s Acer Arena last December, will get children and parents a like singing, dancing and having fun with Wiggles, Jeff, Anthony, Murray and Sam. What’s more the Wiggles will be joined by all their favourite Wiggly friends, including Dorothy the Dinosaur, Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog and Henry the Octopus.

The performance will feature the Wiggles biggest hits including Hot Potato, Fruit Salad and Monkey Dance, all broadcast in High Definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound to give cinema goers a full experience of this fun time extravaganza.

Mark De Quervain, Sales and Marketing Director of Vue Entertainment, comments:- “It can be hard to find things to do that are child friendly and entertaining enough to keep young children’s attention. So The Wiggles are perfect for family fun in Southport.

The screenings are also perfect for parents as they have been specifically set up with families in mind, so no one will be upset if children and even their parents want to sing along.”

Tickets to the live performance of The Wiggles Greatest Hits cost £5.00 and can be booked at:-

Broad Green Park & Ride improvement scheme

SINCE 21 February 2011, work is now taking place at Broad Green Station to improve the Car Park & Ride facilities. Scheduled to finish mid April, the improved Park & Ride car park will incorporate:-

► 127 car parking spaces including 8 dedicated blue badge space.
► 6 motor cycle parking spaces.
► A revised entrance, exit, vehicle route and pedestrian access.
► New fencing and height restriction barrier.
► New lighting and CCTV.
► Landscaping and boundary treatment.

In order for these improvements to be carried out as swiftly as possible, some of the car park will be closed whilst the work is undertaken.  For more information, please call:- 0151 227 5181.

Do you have any mink / fur coats that you would like to sell? Good good prices paid on items. Call now:- 07713 147 298.

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