How your Council Tax is spent

How your Council Tax is spent

Check out the guide explaining how your Council Tax is spent for a breakdown of where Sefton Council spends its budget and your Council Tax. 

Sefton Council has set a net budget before non-specific Government Grants of £315,789,723 (excluding Parishes) for 2023/2024. This is £58.4m more than the budget for 2022/2023. However, this is partly due to the net impact of changes in Business Rates Section 31 Grants brought and carried forward to offset declared deficits of £20.2m. Excluding this the net budget has increased by £38.2m. The analysis of the Council Tax Requirement and Budget Requirement is provided below:

Sefton MBC Budget Requirement





Gross Expenditure on Council Services 595.0 661.3
Gross Expenditure by Levying Bodies 35.2 36.2
Total Gross Expenditure 630.2 697.5
Total Gross Income -372.8 -381.7
Sefton Budget Requirement before non-specific Government Grants (Note 1) 257.4  315.8
Non-Specific Government Grants -49.7 -60.7
General Balances - Increase 2.9 4.4
Sefton Budget Requirement 210.6  259.5
Less: General Government Grant -22.1 -23.9
Less: Retained Business Rates Income -56.7 -62.4
Less: Business Rates Surplus (-) / Deficit 18.5 -12.7
Less: Collection Fund Surplus – Council Tax -1.7 -1.7
Sefton Council Tax Requirement 148.6  158.8
Council Tax (Band C)
£1,569.58  £1647.91

Note 1: The table below highlights the major variances in the Budget Requirement (before non-specific Government Grants) between 2022/2023 and 2023/2024:

  £m £m
Pay and Price Inflation Contingency       15.3
Additional Resources to Maintain and Improve Services    
Additional Resources relating to Service Pressures - Social Care 31.3  
Additional Resources relating to Service Pressures – Other Services  4.1   
Increase in Levies   1.0
Net Savings / Efficiency Measures   -13.5
Net impact of changes in Business Rates Section 31 Grants brought and carried forward to offset declared deficits   20.2
Change in Sefton Budget Requirement   58.4

Sefton Council's Revenue Budget

View Sefton's Analysis of General Fund Expenditure & Income for 2023/2024 for more details.

Sefton's Estimated Balances

Sefton’s general revenue balances are estimated to be £12.0m as at 31 March 2023. The 2023/2024 Budget assumes general balances will be increased by £4.4m. This excludes reserves held by schools; these are estimated to be £15m as at 31 March 2023.

Capital Investment Plan 2023/2024 - 2025/2026

The Council's Capital Investment Plan for 2023/2024 – 2025/2026 currently totals £175.1m, including some indicative grants, and is funded primarily from Central Government Allocations, Specific Capital Grants, Capital Receipts and Council Borrowing. The Plan includes schemes for the Marine Lake Event Centre (£65.7m), Other Strategic Investment (£9.9m), Adult Social Care (£21.0m), Highways and Public Protection (£45.7m) and Education Excellence (£23.7m). It should be noted that any resources identified as unspent in 2022/2023 at the year-end will slip into 2023/2024 and additional resources may yet be allocated to new schemes in 2023/2024.

Precepting Bodies

Environment Agency (North West Region) 

The Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) Regulations 2011

The Environment Agency is a levying body for its Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Functions under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and the Environment Agency (Levies) (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.

The Environment Agency has powers in respect of flood and coastal erosion risk management for 6500 kilometres of main river and along tidal and sea defences in the area of the North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. Money is spent on the construction of new flood defence schemes, the maintenance of the river system and existing flood defences together with the operation of a flood warning system and management of the risk of coastal erosion. The financial details are:


North West Regional
Flood and Coastal Committee






Gross Expenditure 103,714 125,035
Levies Raised 4,283 4,412
Total Council Tax Base 2,208 2,248

The majority of funding for flood defence comes directly from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). However, under the new Partnership Funding rule not all schemes will attract full central funding.To provide local funding for local priorities and contributions for partnership funding the Regional Flood and Coastal Committees recommend through the Environment Agency a local levy.

A change in the gross budgeted expenditure between years reflects the programme of works for both capital and revenue needed by the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee to which you contribute. The total Local Levy raised by this committee has increased by 3.0%.

The total Local Levy raised has increased from £4,283,391 in 2022/2023 to £4,411,893 for 2023/2024.

Customer Service Line: 03708 506 506
Incident Hotline: 0800 80 70 60
Floodline: 0345 988 1188

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA)

The Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA)

are the public body responsible for dealing with household waste and recycling once it’s been collected from your home.

Using the latest technology, we aim to make sure as much waste as possible is sustainably managed. Our Energy from Waste facility in Wilton diverts the majority of Merseyside’s non-recycled waste from landfill – and in the process saves more than £100m in current landfill disposal costs over the life of its contract.

We work hard to encourage Merseyside’s householders to use less in the first place and, through our 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres and District Council kerbside collections, to recycle as much as they can. Last year, 36.6% of Merseyside’s household waste was reused, recycled and composted. Recycling, alongside our waste prevention work and involvement with community projects, can help us all contribute to fighting climate change.

You can read more about our work at

Financial Summary






Total Net Expenditure 82.115 82.373
Contribution to reserves 0 0
Total requirement 82.115 82.373
Use of Reserves -3.126 -3.480
Levy 78.989 78.983
Levy per head (Merseyside)  £55.07 £55.43

The Levy for Sefton Council for 2023-24 will be £15,849,243.

For more information contact:

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority
7th Floor
No.1 Mann Island
L3 1BP

Tel: 0151 255 1444
Web: / /

Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner 

Setting a balanced budget is one of my most important responsibilities. It is my job to ensure Merseyside Police has the money it needs to keep our communities safe and is in the strongest possible position for the year ahead.

In the face of soaring inflation and costs this has been no easy task. The financial position is extremely challenging and has required careful planning and will require the Chief Constable to continue to make savings.

While I was extremely reluctant to ask taxpayers to contribute a little extra to support their police service, I am grateful to have had the support of local people, through my precept consultation, and that of the body which scrutinises my work, the Police and Crime Panel to increase the Council Tax precept.

Even with this hugely valuable contribution there still remains a significant budget gap. In order to bridge this gap, the Chief Constable has agreed to make savings and I plan to utilise reserves and one-off funding to balance the remaining budget. Setting a balanced budget in this way will protect the police service during 2023/24, ensuring that police officer, PCSOs and police staff jobs are protected. Despite all of this, further savings will need to be made in future years if additional funding cannot be secured.

Despite protecting police officer numbers, Merseyside Police is still 450 officers short of the number it had in 2010, before the Government’s austerity programme.

I am focused on doing everything possible to help protect Merseyside Police and to get it back to its former strength. I promise I will continue to lobby Ministers at every chance I get to provide the funding for those missing officers, and I will also work to secure extra funding and grants for our region wherever I can.

I will also hold the Chief Constable to account to ensure we maximise every penny of the budget delivering on the shared priorities set out in my Police and Crime Plan to keep you safe.

Thank you for playing a vital role in helping us to protect our police service.

Emily Spurrell
Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside

Police and Crime Commissioner Budget

How the money is spent:

Description 2022/23 2023/24
  £m £m
Police Officer Pay 199.138 203.330
Police Pensions 55.631 51.116
Police Staff Pay 79.694 87.244
Police Staff Pensions 11.429 11.430
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner 1.427 1.539
PCC Controlled Expenditure 7.123 9.831
Other 59.092  68.633
Gross Expenditure 413.534 433.123

How our spending has changed:

Gross Expenditure 2022/23 413.534
Allowance for Pay Inflation 12.234
Full Year Effect of 2022 pay award above original budget 4.224
Allowance for Price Inflation 3.317
Impact of Price Inflation above 2022/23 Budget 2.064
Net Committed Growth (Savings) (2.250)
Gross Expenditure 2023/24 433.123

Where the money comes from:

Source  2022/23 2023/24
  £m £m
Police General Grant (286.573) (287.568)
Council Tax Grants (15.641) (15.641)
Council Tax Requirement (89.812) (97.737)
Collection Fund Deficit / (Surplus) (0.472) (0.368)
    Specific Government Grants      (15.994) (23.433)
Income (2.790) (3.172)
Net Contribution to/(from) Reserves (2.252) (5.204)
Total Funding (413.534) (433.123)

Why has Council Tax changed?

Council Tax Requirement 2022/23 (89.812)
Increase in Tax base (2.107)
Increase in Band D Equivalent (5.818)
Council Tax Requirement 2023/24 (97.737)
2022/23   2023/24

Tax Base

£236.97  Band D Equivalent £251.97
£10.00 Increase in Band D Equivalent £15.00


Phone: 0151 777 5155


Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

Precept Information 2023-2024

The Authority must ensure it has the resources to meet the demands placed on its services. The Authority has set a budget in response to emergent and foreseeable risk from fire and other emergencies, particularly the services ability to respond to large and/or protracted incidents, as well as the need to enhance protection functions in the light of the Grenfell Tower fire, the Manchester terror attack and other major incidents.

The Authority has secured significant re-investment back into the organisation in recent years, particularly in frontline response and protection services. The Authority continues to increase investment in the Service and the 2023/2024 budget includes an additional £0.7m for frontline resilience, firefighter safety, and support for operational services. The Authority capital programme looks to invest £55m in the Service’s infrastructure by 2027/2028, and this will ensure firefighters have the best equipment to respond to a variety of risks to keep the Merseyside community safe.

The ongoing investment the Authority has made in the Service and the benefits this brings to the Merseyside community, were reflected in the last HMICFRS inspection evaluation. The Authority scored an unprecedented three ‘Outstanding’ judgements across the eleven sub themes for its work preventing fires and other emergencies, its response to major and multi-agency incidents, and for making the best use of its resources.

How The Money Is Spent

Approximately 72% of the Authority’s 2023/2024 budget remains committed to delivering Operational Response, Protection and Preventative frontline services, as these functions have been recognised as priority areas by the public following extensive consultation. The costs associated with funding capital investment account for 12%, and relate to investment in frontline activities such as fire stations, fire appliances and operational equipment. The remaining 16% is on support services, of which a significant proportion relates to essential frontline service support such as insurance of vehicles and premises, the vehicle maintenance workshop, and ICT costs.

Chart to show how the money is spent

How We Are Funded

The Authority’s 2023/2024 Gross Budget is £88m and the graph below outlines how this is funded.

Merseyfire chart

Council Tax Charge

The Council Tax for a Band D property has been set at:



Council Tax (Band D)

Gross Budget 88,186  
Income & specific Grants -13,948  
Net Use of Reserves -6,317  
Net Budget Requirement 67,912  

Government Settlement Funding (less Local Business Rates Adjustment)

Council Tax/Business Rates Collection Fund Surplus
Council Tax Requirement 34,371  
Tax-base   387,892.01
Band D Equivalent   £88.61














The Authority set a Council Tax requirement of £34.371m for 2023/2024 and a Council Tax for a Band D property of £88.61, a 6% increase on the 2022/2023 figure of £83.61. By increasing the council tax charge, it allows the Authority to maintain the investment in frontline services and fund the further investment planned in 2023/2024. Most council taxpayers in Merseyside will pay Band A Council Tax of £59.07 about 16p per day towards their Fire and Rescue Service.

The Authority has issued a precept on the five Merseyside District Councils of £34.371m, Sefton’s contribution to expenditure financed by precept is £7.591m, which represents 22.1% of the total precept.

Contact the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

Ian Cummins, CIPFA,
Director of Finance and Procurement
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority
Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters,
Bridle Road, Bootle
Liverpool, L30 4YD

Telephone: 0151 296 4000


Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor & Combined Authority 

Being a member of the Liverpool City Region means that Sefton residents can reap the benefits of devolved, local leadership – capturing opportunities that may previously have been out of reach and accessing funding only obtainable to areas with Combined Authority status.

As your elected Mayor, Steve Rotheram is committed to building a fairer, more equal future for the 1.6 million people who call our area home, where no one is left behind.
In what has been an incredibly challenging year for many households, Mayor Rotheram has made it his priority to ensure that families in our area feel protected from the worst impacts of the cost-of-living crisis.

Putting our residents first, the Mayor is freezing the Mayoral precept for the fourth year running so that households in Sefton will continue to pay the lowest rates in the country. In accordance with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s (Finance) Order 2017, the Mayor is seeking to set a precept for 2023/24 of £19 per Band D property. Most council tax payers across the city region will pay a Band A Council Tax rate of £12.67 per year – around £1.05 per month.

From the Mayor’s Young Person’s Guarantee, which promises all of our young people a job, training or apprenticeship, to Housing First, a radical new approach to helping the homeless, we are leading the way in building a fairer, more inclusive local economy.

To date thousands of our most vulnerable families have been helped to save hundreds of pounds a month on their energy bills as a result of the Mayor Rotheram’s £60m retrofitting programme – with many families in Bootle, Crosby and Thornton given a chance to get on the property ladder in quality, affordable homes as a result of his Brownfield Land Fund.

The Mayor’s interventions have created more than 10,000 new jobs and 7,000 apprenticeships, including the £18m awarded to the new Southport Marine Lake Events Centre and £3m towards the newly refurbished Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre. More than £50m has also been invested in local schools and colleges, including Hugh Baird and Southport College, and hundreds of long-term unemployed people have been supported through Households into Work.

The Mayor wants to build an integrated London-style public transport network that makes it cheaper, faster, cleaner and more reliable to get around – starting with the cost of a single adult bus journey being cut to just £2 and unlimited bus travel for under 18s (My Ticket) capped at £2.20 a day for the next two years.

Alongside proposals to improve the region’s bus network, giving local leaders greater say over fares, routes and timetables, there has been multi-million pound investment in new publicly-owned hydrogen buses which will begin to operate on the 10A route in 2023 – with ambitious plans for further investment in a zero emission bus fleet and £500m publicly-owned state-of-the-art trains – the most accessible and sophisticated in the country – which will be rolled out over the next 12 months.

Sefton was home to the first new Merseyrail station in more than 20 years, Maghull North, as part of the Mayor’s Merseyrail for All pledge to connect historically underserved areas to the rest of our transport network. A total of £50m has also been invested in active travel infrastructure across the region – including the £1m Maghull to Kirkby cycling route.

Ensuring the next generation inherits a greener, cleaner Liverpool City Region is a key priority for the Mayor – under his plans, we will hit net zero carbon by 2040 at the latest, at least a decade before national government targets. Our pioneering work on Mersey Tidal Power, which has the potential to generate enough renewable energy to power 1m homes and create thousands of local jobs and training opportunities, will have a big role to play in helping our city region hit its targets.






205,569 Gross Expenditure 231,186
(96,426) Income and Specific Grants (116,655)
(99,352) Income from Levy (102,283)
(1,909) Contributions from Reserves (4,190)
7,882 Council Tax Requirement 8,058
414,832 Tax Base 424,133
19.00 Band D Equivalent 19.00

The movement in the gross expenditure budget is detailed below.

Gross Expenditure 2022/23 205,569
Net Change in Revenue Grant Funded Activity 17,856
Inflationary Pressures 8,643
Increase in Transport Contractual Costs 1,658
Savings Identified -5,616
Increase in Net Debt Servicing Cost 3,076
Gross Expenditure 2023/24 231,186

For more information, visit

Transport Funding

The LCRCA’s transport responsibilities are funded through transport levies across each of the six councils. This funds concessionary travel, subsidised bus services, the Mersey Ferries and a range of other services.

The transport levy 2023/24 for each of the Merseyside Councils within the LCRCA is:


Transport Levy



Transport Levy


Knowsley 10,563 11,138
Liverpool 34,669 34,821
Sefton 19,111 20,102
St Helens 12,545 13,180
Wirral 22,464 23,042
Total 99,352 102,283

Please note that, for historical and legal reasons, Halton Borough Council currently provide transport activities directly within the boundaries of the borough of Halton.

This is funded through a differential transport levy collected by Halton on behalf of the LCRCA which will be £3.3m for 2023/24.

Mayor Steve Rotheram
Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

Mr John Fogarty, B.A. Hons, C.P.F.A.
Executive Director of Corporate Services: Liverpool City Region Combined Authority


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Last Updated on Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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