Further £90 million of
budget options identified
LIVERPOOL City Council has revealed
budget cuts of £90 million over the next 3 years. It takes to £420 million the
amount of Central Government spending cuts since 2010, equivalent to a 68%
reduction in funding.
The City Council has taken steps to protect Adult and Children's Social Care, as
much as possible, and they account for less than 8% of the overall savings
In addition, the Council is setting aside £2 million, over 2017 to 2018, to help the most
vulnerable through shielding people from the full impact of reductions in
Council Tax support, crisis payments for food, fuel, clothing and furniture and
Discretionary Housing Payments to help people affected by rent rises and other
welfare reform issues.
The reductions would be more severe if it wasn't for the Mayor's Invest to Earn
programme, which is generating £3 million a year to support essential services.
Examples include the rental profit from buying the Cunard Building and Finch
Farm training ground.
In addition, new homes built or brought back into use as part of the Mayor's
commitment to widen the choice of housing are generating an additional £8
million per year in Council Tax revenue.
Among the proposals to meet the budget gap are:-
► Review of One Stop Shops to save £2.7 million.
► Cutting the contact centre opening times to save £2.9 million.
► Reducing the cost of inward investment agency Liverpool Vision by £1.2 million.
► Setting up a task force to review the libraries service in 2018/19 to save
In Children's Services, savings of £4.1 million will be made by reducing the
cost of care placements and packages and increasing the number of in-house
foster carers to reduce the number employed by Independent Fostering Agencies.
Money has also been set aside to maintain Children's Centres for the next 12
months with the aim of devising a viable option for the future of the service.
The City Council is also planning to:-
► Open new car parks and extend opening hours to raise an additional £920k by
► Introduce a premium service from Bulky Bobs, bringing in £280k.
► Save £4 million by reducing the number of buildings and premises management
► Invest £1.5 million in the City's Lifestyles Fitness Centres to attract more
users and generate more income.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "I have always been clear that my
priorities are to protect the most vulnerable in the City and help grow the
economy and this budget is aimed at meeting those aims.
Despite all of the cuts we have faced so far, we've continued to spend £12
million a year on Homeless Services and £2.5m on Crisis Payments, for the most
vulnerable, to help those in crisis pay their rent and Council Tax.
There is no doubt that some frontline Council services will be significantly
reduced and we will have less staff by 2020.
There will be fewer One Stop Shops and the Contact Centre won't be open around
the clock. It will take people longer to get a response to requests for some
These are not things that we want to do, but we have no choice, because the
Government isn't listening and as the majority of people who responded to the
budget consultation said they wouldn't support a 1 off 10% rise in Council Tax.
We also have a duty to go on delivering major capital schemes, which will bring
major economic benefits, such as investment in roads and big regeneration
projects like the Cruise Liner Terminal bringing visitors and Paddington Village,
that are bringing more much needed businesses and jobs to the City.
The Government's intention is that we will have to be largely dependent on
income from Business Rates and Council Tax, from 2020, so it is vital that we do
all we can to attract employers and help create jobs and help people on to the
The Council is setting aside £13 million in reserves in 2017/18 which will be
drawn down in 2018/19 and 2019/20 to reduce the impact of cuts in future years.
Emergency reserves will be 4% of the Council's net budget; below the 5% previously recommended by the Audit Commission.
Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ann O'Byrne, added:- "Where possible we will do our
very best to transfer services to other organisations, as we have done some Libraries and
Youth Centres. We will need to do more of this entrepreneurial thinking,
including looking at ways of bringing in extra income and extending our Invest
to Earn programme, in order to bring in additional cash to help offset the cuts
in Government funding."
The Budget report, which proposes a 4.99% increase, in Council Tax, in 2017/18;
the maximum the Government will allow without approval, in a referendum, will be
considered by the Cabinet, on Friday, 24 February 2017, before being put to a Budget
Council Meeting, on Wednesday, 8 March 2017.
Letter to Editor:- "No Lights... No
"MERSEYSIDE Police have continued to pay
little or no attention to the rise in riders of pedal bikes flaunting the laws
of the land. By day, often young and old can bee seen riding up 1 way roads,
with traffic nearly hitting them. Riding on pavements and worse. This is
not just children, its adults of all ages and sexes! Then you have at
night the worse problems. The number of times I have nearly hit riders who
pay no attention to the laws of the road, riding, dressed in black or other dark
clothing, at night, with out lights. Yet I continually see Police cars and
vans drive passed them. Not even checking to see what they are up to.
These riders are using bikes to commit crimes, yet the Police seem to pay no
attention. Even when reports are issued about them, they do not react to them.
This situation is out of control and someone will be killed as a result of this
or worse! PLEASE can you ask Merseyside Police why they don't react to this
issue?" James, a Southport Town Centre resident.
What are your views on this topic, this reader
has commented on? Please email us to:-
News24@SouthportReporter.com with your thoughts!
Research reveals that the
average Brit wakes up 3 times in the night
AH, drifting off to sleep… that
wonderful feeling where you're drowsy, cosy, and looking forward to a good 8
hours of shuteye, ready to rise, refreshed, the next morning and take on
whatever the day has to throw at you! For some lucky people, this is their sleep
pattern, every night. But more of us than you might imagine suffer from
disturbed sleep, waking up in the night once, twice, or more.
Mattress company Tweak Mattress carried out a survey of 2000
British adults, to find out how well we actually sleep at night, and made some
Firstly, they found that the average Brit wakes up nearly 3 times (2.8) a night.
And 11% of us fare even worse, waking up between 7 and 10 times a night. None of
this is conducive to a restful night, so it's no wonder we're tired, and
therefore stressed, the next day.
The reasons we wake up during the night vary, however. For 47% of us, it's
needing the loo. This, obviously, happens more often if we've had liquids before
going to bed, and functions as nature's own little alarm clock. Unfortunately,
it usually goes off around 3am… Secondly, 19% of us are woken up by discomfort,
or from pain from a bad back. Then 17% of us are disturbed by our partner;
mainly from snoring; which is as good excuse for separate bedrooms (or even
houses!) as any. Bad dreams or nightmares affect 11% us, who wake up sweating
about the bogeyman under the bed. And plain old anxiety; worrying about the
next day at work, about bills, about relationships, about waking up in the
middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep; affects 6% of us.
Back to our partners (well, it's good to have someone else to blame for these
things), and again, snoring is the main reason they keep us awake at night, with
41% of us fed up of having to poke them till they turn over. A quarter of us
wake up to find ourselves occupying a sliver of space on the edge of the bed,
about to fall off, as our partners have managed to conquer our side as well as
theirs in the middle of the night…Tossing and turning affects 10.5% of us too,
10% of us have to put up with our partner talking, or making other weird noises,
in their sleep, and another 10% of us are woken up by our partner looking at
their phone; no matter what manufacturers say, the light that emits from them
at night is still enough to wake people up. And 4.6% of us are woken by a
partner who is (highly inconsiderately) watching TV or reading.
Leading Psychologist Robert Stewart added:- "There are two main reasons
our sleep is good or poor and these are our sleep hygiene and our sleep cycles.
Sleep hygiene relates to our 'before bed' routine. Not drinking or eating
a lot, choosing the same time to sleep each night, and not looking at phones,
laptops or TV in bed to name a few. Getting these right should help in getting
you off to sleep, but more importantly, there are the sleep cycles you go
through. A person will go through 5 stages of
sleep in a night and each of these vary in depth. Stage 5 or rapid eye movement
(REM) stage is the lightest stage of sleep and this is where people are most
likely to stir. Whilst we cannot control this, the surrounding environment, such
as a partner snoring, other noise or discomfort, will impact on whether we
return to sleep smoothly or are awoken. So to drift back to sleep seamlessly and
without disturbance, ensure you have the best environment to aid this, whether
it be earplugs or a comfortable mattress."
But you can increase your chances of not waking up in the night by having a good
mattress, to start with!
Please email us your views on this. Do you
agree with Tweak Mattress findings?
Public transport app encourages commuters to
stay Pollution Aware as they travel
MOOVIT, the world's #1 transport app, has added a timely new feature for
commuters in the UK to be pollution aware during their travels. When planning
journeys on public transport, Moovit users can now check the levels of air
pollution on their route in the app, thanks to a partnership with Clean Space by
In addition to accessing air pollution information for their chosen public
transport route, Moovit users can also request to be equipped with Clean Space
Tags, personal air pollution smart sensors designed by Drayson Technologies, in
order to collect hyper local air pollution data as they travel in and around
The Moovit community members equipped with Clean Space Tags will crowd source air
pollution data wherever they are, helping to build a global map of air
pollution. Members can register for their Clean Space Tags
The news comes as the UK is issued with an official warning by the EU regarding
rising pollution levels that saw nitrogen dioxide limits repeatedly exceeded in
16 areas including London, Birmingham, Leeds, and Glasgow. An additional damning
survey undertaken by Surrey University demonstrated public transport users are
exposed to a much higher level of pollution than car drivers. Tube users are in
fact are exposed to eight times more pollution levels than those driving to
Moovit Vice President of Product Yovav Meydad, said:- "It is essential
that commuters have easy access to information that plays a direct part in their
overall health and wellbeing. Clean Space is an incredibly smart network that
allows Moovit users to be pollution aware by tracking the pollution levels along
their journey anywhere in the UK. The community is also able to contribute to
this huge network, mapping air pollution levels across the country, and by
carrying a Clean Space smart sensor they are effectively providing a constant
data source to help us track where pollutions levels are high."
Lord Paul Drayson, Chairman and CEO, Drayson Technologies, said:- "Drayson
Technologies and Moovit are 2 forward thinking organisations that recognise how
technology can improve our lives. With this partnership, we're combining two
areas of innovative technology, crowd sourced journey planning data and an
Internet of Things sensor network, to build information for the benefit of the
wider public. Air pollution is a global issue but through the provision of
accurate data, we can help improve air quality across the globe."