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.