Thousands visit budget
simulator in 1st week
ALMOST 3,500 people have visited
Liverpool City Council's Budget Simulator in the 1st week.
The online tool enables people to suggest where they think £90 million of
savings should be made over the next 3 years, and also to give views on ways of
raising additional income.
So far, around 500 people have completed the simulator and 'balanced the
books' – with 50% saying they would be willing to see an increase of up to
10% in Council Tax, if it were ring fenced to help protect children's and adults
services for the most vulnerable. Government rules mean that an increase above
3.99% would only happen if residents were to vote in favour of it in a
General themes from the consultation responses so far
► Shielding children's and adults services more than other services.
► Being more commercial to generate income.
► Charging more for some services.
► Reducing Councillors and senior staff.
Mayor Joe Anderson said:- "We want as many people as possible to engage
with the budget simulator to tell us their priorities to help inform the budget
process. It is a genuine consultation and no decisions have been made yet.
No 1 is more aware than I am that we are asking whether people are already
poor if they are willing to help fund services for the poorest, but the scale of
the Government cuts over the last 6 years means that we have nowhere to go and
are left with little option other than to cut into essential front line
It is a sign of how caring the people of Liverpool are that there is a fairly
even split in the number of people willing to see a 10% increase in Council Tax,
ring fenced to protect some of the children's and adults social care services
from the worst of the cuts. We will make a decision on whether to hold a
referendum in the new year, but will only do so if we are confident it would be
supported, because of the cost of holding the ballot. 1 of the 1st things I did when I took charge was to cut the number and pay
of senior managers and axe bonuses in order to get rid of the excess fat in the
organisation. We will be looking hard at what's left of the management structure
to see what else we can do, while at the same time making sure we can still
attract and retain the best people. I am acutely aware that staff of all grades
are already going above and beyond every day to deliver services due to the fact
we have 3,000 less staff than we did in 2010. Councillors have also done their bit as the basic allowance has not gone up for
nine years and they receive around £6,000 a year less than elected members in
Manchester and Birmingham, while doing an excellent job directly helping those
most affected by the cuts in their communities.
If people genuinely want us to protect services, we can only do that if the
Government give us more money; which the Autumn Statement made clear they won't; or if residents contribute more.
I would encourage people to go online to the simulator and have their say over
the future of vital services in the city to give us the best possible picture of
what people think before making decisions next year."
Council Tax only contributes 11% to Liverpool's overall budget, leaving the City
vulnerable to the Government's austerity programme as Whitehall provides 72% of
the overall funding for services.
Over the last 3 years, Council Departments have been asked to make savings
of between 25% and 50%.
Closing the budget gap from 2017 to 2020 could mean taking another 10% from Adult
and Children's Services which support the most vulnerable, and cutting all other
departments by a further 50%.
The budget simulator is open until Friday, 16 December 2016.
The Council will set its budget in March 2017.
NWAS Christmas Card Competition is Back!
WITH the countdown to Christmas in full swing, North West
Ambulance Service (NWAS) is asking once again for help from budding young
artists across the region to use their creative flair and design the Trust's
The competition is open to children between the ages of 3 to 11 and the winning
design will be made into an official NWAS Christmas e-card which will be put on
the Trust's website and sent to all its friends, colleagues, family, staff and
The winners will receive a £50 gift voucher, certificate and NWAS goodie bag
which will be presented to the winner's school or nursery by the Trust mascot, Pandamedic; who is busy preparing for what is the busiest time of year for the
All entries must be submitted with the child's name, age and parent's contact
details and should be on A4 paper, either landscape or portrait. Children can
use colouring pencils, felt tips and crayons. The closing date for entries is
Wednesday, 14 December 2016.
Entries can be scanned and
emailed or posted
North West Ambulance Service Headquarters
Chorley New Road
Wirral positioned to capitalize on new £2bn
IN its Autumn
Statement this week, the government unveiled a new Industrial Strategy to
position the UK as the "global go to place for scientists, innovators and
Wirral Council Leader, Cllr Phil Davies, says the Government's new funds for
Innovation and Research and Development will further strengthen the Council's
plans to grow the borough's economy and said the additional £2bn of government
investment in cutting edge technologies via the Industrial Strategy Challenge
Fund is in line with the Council's Growth Plan.
Cllr Davies said:- "Wirral already boasts 1 of the highest levels of new
patent registrations in Europe and sits at the heart of a science and technology
cluster stretching from Daresbury to Broughton including Liverpool University,
Cammell Laird, Unilever and Capenhurst. Our regeneration strategy is
attracting new investments in advanced manufacturing, technology and clean
energy, so we hope this fund is made available to local firms, the local
authority and Liverpool City Region to continue enhancing Wirral's growing
reputation for excellence in Science and Technology."
£3.3m investment in mental
health services for new and expectant mums
LOCAL mental health partners have
secured more than £3m to develop specialist community services for pregnant
women and expectant mothers across the region.
More than £3.3m has been awarded to the Cheshire and Merseyside Sustainability
and Transformation Plan (STP) to develop local community perinatal mental health
The money will be used to develop a Specialist Perinatal Community Mental Health
Service which will be delivered through three locality teams across the region.
The 'local' teams, provided by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership, Mersey
Care and 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trusts, will support women with
serious mental health problems during pregnancy and in the 1st year after
They will greatly improve access to evidence based treatments, as well as
training for other frontline services caring for local women, to ensure
consistent, high quality care across the region.
Women are more likely to suffer from mental health issues in the weeks shortly
before or after birth than at any other point in their lives. More than 20% of
the 27,000 births in Cheshire and Merseyside each year involve some sort of
mental health issue and these difficulties can have a long-term impact on both
mother and child if left untreated.
This new funding will improve early intervention in perinatal mental health care
to prevent local women and their children from experiencing potential problems
in the future.
Tania Stanway is a Consultant Psychiatrist at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership
NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) and is Chair of the Northwest Coast Perinatal Mental
Health Clinical Network. She said:- "Mental health problems are the second
leading cause of death amongst women in the perinatal period, and they have
long term effects on women, their children and the wider family. I'm delighted
that this is being recognised nationally as an important issue.
This funding is fantastic because it will result in improved care and mental
health support for thousands of women during this critical time in their lives.
We have spent the last couple of years working towards improved perinatal care
within our region and so feel ahead of the curve at the time of this important
backing from NHS England."
Cheshire and Merseyside is one of 44 areas (or 'footprints') across
England that have come together as healthcare systems to develop Sustainability
and Transformation Plans (STPs). STPs represent a change in the way the NHS and
its partners plan services; with a stronger emphasis on collaboration.
All 3 of the NHS Foundation Trusts have committed to the transformation of
mental health services in Cheshire and Merseyside, which is being led by CWP
Chief Executive Sheena Cumiskey:- "As partners in the Cheshire and
Merseyside STP we aim to develop greater collaborative working so that we can
deliver consistent, high quality care across the region.
This bid for new funding for perinatal mental health community services is the
1st successful mental health bid for the STP footprint and we are delighted
that women will be able to access services across the whole of Cheshire and
Additional funding is expected to become available nationally to support mental
health transformation and we will continue to work collaboratively across the
STP to access this and deliver improvements for our population."
Nicola Allen, Head of the Medical Directorate for NHS England Cheshire and
Merseyside added:- "This is good news for Cheshire and Merseyside. A
priority is to improve the community services available for new and expectant
We know that the team at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership worked closely with the
North West Coast Strategic Clinical Network to develop the bid. We believe this
will put the region ahead of the curve, in terms of developing services that
prevent women and their children experiencing mental health problems in the
Thousands of women from across Cheshire and Merseyside will benefit from the
Rebecca Brook, a teacher from Macclesfield, was diagnosed with depression
shortly after giving birth to daughter Eleanor last year. She said:- "I
struggled to breastfeed when Eleanor was first born. This made me feel like I
had failed as a mother, which led to strong feelings of depression and anxiety.
I knew about the mental health risks to women during such a fragile time, but I
never realised just how bad it makes people feel.
I felt lonely and isolated. There were constant tears and even times when I even
like running away because I thought Eleanor would be better off without me as
I was lucky to have such fantastic support from my Health Visitor, as well as
local mothering group, SMILE. However, I understand that some people aren't so
The funding announcement is brilliant news as I'm sure it can really help to
change stigma around perinatal mental health and provide consistent levels of
support to local women."
The perinatal development fund, set up by NHS England, is part of a £365m plan
to expand perinatal support to an extra 30,000 women a year by 2020.
A report from the London School of Economics showed that untreated perinatal
mental health problems cost the UK £8 billion per year, and have an adverse
effect on thousands of children. In response, the Government has committed to
supporting services which help parents to bond with their children as part of
the 'Future in Mind' campaign. Find out more about Future in Mind