Posted 10 January 2017
The stark reality of Sefton Council's budget for the next three years has been laid out in a report just published.
The Cabinet report highlights how since 2011, as a direct result of Government funding cuts, the local authority has had to achieve savings of £169m and must make further savings of £64m between 2017 and 2020.
In total, Sefton Council will have lost 51% of Government funding between 2010 and 2020. This is equivalent to £722 from every household in Sefton. This is at a time when there are significant pressures in Adult and Children's Social Care.
The report explains how the budget setting process will link with the Sefton 2030 Vision.
It also outlines the four key areas of a new Framework for Change: Economic Growth, Public Sector Reform (changing how the council does things), Service and Corporate Savings Options and Strategic Investment.
Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader at Sefton Council, said: "Over the last 6 years we have delivered massive change largely due to the cuts imposed by Government. During this time we have worked hard to protect frontline services such as the bins and social care but with cuts of this scale we have already had to make really difficult decisions and there are more of these to come.
"The pressures in Adult Social Care cannot be underestimated and the Government has refused to provide sufficient funding to meet these needs. Instead they will allow councils to increase Council Tax to help ease the pressure. We believe the Government should fund this nationally but with no alternative the Council will need to seriously consider this option.
"The stark reality is that with a further £64m to find over the next three years we have even more difficult choices to make. We will set a balanced budget underpinned by a plan that will deliver further major change over the next 3 years and beyond. We also know that this will have a significant impact on our communities.
"The recently published Sefton 2030 Vision sets out our clear ambition for the future. We believe this borough has so much to offer and we have a shared responsibility with our partners and communities to work towards this vision.
"We will stay focussed on providing as much protection as possible to frontline services and the protection of our most vulnerable people. However, people must understand that we cannot do everything we have done in the past. What money we have needs to achieve the best outcomes for all our communities and that will always be our priority.
"The foundations for the future are now being laid through the drive for economic growth across the whole of the borough. This will lead to the creation of more quality jobs, economic prosperity and potentially new income streams for the Council.
"The report published outlines the sheer scale of the next rounds of cuts with some of the tough decisions the Council will have to make to set a balanced budget."
The full report is available to view at: http://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=139&MId=8557