LIVERPOOL City Council has
approved a budget for 2012/13 which will see council tax frozen next
year. The majority of council tax payers who live in Band A
properties (around 60%) will continue to pay £872.09 for local
authority services but the amount they pay will rise because of
increases in precepts and levies for police, fire, transport and
The council tax rates for each band are:-
||Council Amount Payable
||Tax including precepts
About £50m worth of savings had to
be found, equivalent to around £190 per household.
Councillor Joe Anderson, City Council leader, said:- "It’s
been another really tough year for the city council as we have had
to deal with huge cuts to our budget from central government.
On top of the £91million last year, we have suffered another
£50million cut this year. The services we provide to the city have
been seriously affected but we have done everything possible to
shield the most vulnerable people in the city.
The government has levied the biggest cuts on Liverpool; which has
the greatest needs and poverty of anywhere in the country. We
have found ways of avoiding making some of the most unpalatable cuts
which we thought we may be forced to make. We have retained school
uniform grants, kept our children’s centres open and not cut
services for mental health.
It shows how badly the government cuts have affected the city that
we had even to consider this type of saving. But despite the
huge problems we face we still have great confidence in the city.
The City Deal which we have negotiated will bring in at least £130m
for schools and big regeneration projects. The cruise liner terminal
will bring enormous economic benefits to the city and the approval
of the £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters heralds a new era in the
regeneration of Liverpool."
Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet member for Finance, Councillor
Paul Brant, said:- "This has been an exceptionally difficult
budget to set as once again, despite Liverpool being recognised as
having the most need of any area in the country, we have had to face
the highest level off cuts. We want to protect hard-pressed
families so we are freezing council tax and wherever possible we
have protected essential frontline services.
For this budget we have worked in a new, and open transparent manner
and the contributions made by residents, businesses and the
voluntary sector has helped shaped the budget and it is better for
it. We are now determined to find new ways of working which
will see Liverpool as a responsible and caring city which is
undergoing massive regeneration."
The savings have been made through a range of measures, including:-
► About £20 million from updating financial planning assumptions and
reducing the amount of money set aside for emergencies and
► A review of the running of 26 Children’s Centres, but each Centre
will still provide core services.
► Substantial amounts of funding will still be provided in adult
social care to support the most vulnerable people to live at home or
in supported accommodation.
► Streamlining teams that deliver major development projects and
combining the culture and tourism services
► Introducing charges for advice provided to developers before they
submit a planning application
The council estimates it will need to find a further £21.6 million
in 2013 to 2014 and £39.3 million in 2014 to 2015.
A further £45.6 million
will have to be found between 2015 and 2017.
Rise in 'shisha
bars' prompts health warning on dangers of waterpipe smoking
THE British Heart Foundation are warning people
in the North West about the dangers of shisha as part of 'No Smoking Day
2012', after new
data reveals widespread unawareness of the harm it can cause coupled
with a rise in the number of shisha bars across the region.
Shisha smokers inhaling flavoured tobacco through exotic waterpipes
have become a common sight in city streets across the UK. But under
the romance and heady smells lies a familiar killer the BHF wants
the public to be aware of.
Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the BHF, said:-
"Contrary to popular belief, shisha is not safer than smoking
cigarettes. Don’t be duped by the sweet smell and wholesome sounding
fruity flavours, if you use shisha you are a smoker and that means
you’re putting your health at risk.
It’s linked to the same serious and life-threatening diseases as
cigarettes and there are added risks because you often smoke it for
far longer than you would a cigarette and you’re also exposed to
toxins from the wood or charcoal used to burn the tobacco."
Shisha smoking is linked to the same kinds of diseases as cigarette
smoking including heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and
problems during pregnancy. Yet 9% adults in the North West surveyed
for the BHF thought there were no health harms from using shisha,
and just 44% knew shisha could contain tobacco.
Freedom of Information data from 133 local authorities in major
towns and cities across the UK shows 53% have; or have had a shisha bar since 2007, while more than 40% have seen a rise in the
number of shisha bars since the smoking ban came into force. In the
North West, 47% have; or have had a shisha bar, and 47% have seen a
This is in stark contrast to the steady decline in cigarette smokers
in the UK and has prompted the BHF to urge people to find out the
facts about shisha, which is also known as hookah, hubble bubble and
narghile, as part of its No Smoking Day campaign.
More than 750,000 people attempt to quit on No Smoking Day each
year. But the charity is concerned thousands of quitters may still
be putting their health at risk by using shisha, and that the rising
number of shisha bars could provide a new gateway for people to
start smoking and become addicted to tobacco.
Almost everyone in the North West surveyed for the BHF were unaware
that during a typical hour long shisha session you can inhale the
same amount of smoke as from more than 100 tobacco cigarettes. A
total of 84% of respondents in the North West thought it was 10 or
Andrea Crossfield, Director of Tobacco Free Futures which works to
tackle tobacco harms across the North West, said:- "Many users
of shisha do not know or understand the health risks associated with
smoking such products. It’s worrying that shisha smoking is becoming
increasingly fashionable amongst young people and is not just
prevalent within minority and ethnic communities, and we also need
to do more to highlight that shisha bars are not exempt from the
legislation which covers other tobacco."
Nationally, the survey results showed shisha is most popular among
young people with 27% of UK 18 to 24 year olds saying they’d used
it. Worryingly misconceptions about the dangers of shisha were
highest among this group and those aged 25 to 34 with 15% each
believing there were no health harms from shisha at all while 44% of
the younger UK adults thought it was less harmful than cigarettes.
By comparison, 17% of overall UK respondents thought shisha was less
harmful than cigarettes. In the North West, 14% adults thought it
was less harmful.
The national data showed shisha is no longer a pastime for perceived
specific community groups alone, with 8% people of white ethnicity
saying they’d used it. The survey also showed 9% of former
cigarette smokers in the UK have used shisha as well as 8%
non-smokers. Figures for the North West show 5% people use it.
Smokers who want to find out more can visit:-
taketheleap.co.uk or call:- 0800 434 6677.