Council Tax

How your Council Tax is spent

Sefton Council's Budget for 2020/21 has seen a 3.99% increase.

The increase is to meet the continuing demands of funding children's and adult social care services, an additional precept for the Liverpool City Region while tackling financial pressures caused by the Government's ongoing austerity programme. 

Check out the following guide 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 £247,818,544 (excluding Parishes) for 2020/2021.  This is £8.5m more than the budget for 2019/2020. The analysis of the Council Tax Requirement and Budget Requirement is provided below:

Sefton MBC Budget Requirement 2019/2020(£m) 2020/2021(£m)
Gross Expenditure on Council Services 557.1 574.7
Gross Expenditure by Levying Bodies 34.2 34.7
Total Gross Expenditure 591.3 609.4
Total Gross Income -352.0 -361.6
Sefton Budget Requirement before non-specific Government Grants (Note 1) 239.3 247.8
Non-Specific Government Grants -20.2 -24.6
General Balances - Increase 0.0 1.5
Sefton Budget Requirement 219.1 224.7
Less: General Government Grant -19.6 -21.2
Less: Retained Business Rates Income -66.5 -66.8
Less: Collection Fund Surplus (-) / Deficit – Council Tax -1.0 2.0
Sefton Council Tax Requirement 132.0 138.7
Council Tax (Band C)
£1,395.82 £1,451.58

Note 1: The table below highlights the major variances in the Budget Requirement (before non-specific Government Grants) between 2019/2020 and 2020/2021:

Pay / Price Inflation etc. £m
Pay and Price Inflation Contingency 6.1
Additional Resources to Maintain and Improve Services  
Provision relating to 2019/2020 Service Pressures 3.5
Service Efficiency and Other Changes  
Net Savings / Efficiency Measures -1.0
Increase in Levies 0.6
Change in Use of One-Off Resources -0.7
Change in Sefton Budget Requirement 8.5

Sefton Council's Revenue Budget
Sefton's Analysis of General Fund Expenditure & Income for 2020/2021 can be viewed below.

Sefton's Estimated Balances
Sefton’s general revenue balances are estimated to be £7.5m as at 31 March 2020.  The 2020/2021 Budget assumes general balances will be increased by £1.5m.  This excludes reserves held by schools; these are estimated to be £7m as at 31 March 2020.

Capital Investment Plan 2020/2021 - 2021/2022
The Council's Capital Investment Plan for 2020/2021 – 2021/2022 currently totals £64.657m and is funded primarily from Central Government Allocations, Specific Capital Grants, Capital Receipts and Council Borrowing.  The Plan includes schemes for Strategic Investment (£22.672m), Adult Social Care (£14.601m), Highways and Public Protection (12.105m) and Schools & Families (£11.623m). It should be noted that any resources identified as unspent in 2019/2020 at the year-end will slip into 2020/2021 and additional resources may yet be allocated to new schemes in 2020/2021.

Sefton's Employees
The number of employees within Sefton in March 2020 is 5,618 (full time equivalent). The figure in March 2019 was 5,694, i.e. there has been a reduction of 76.  Included in the March 2019 figure are 37 employees who were employed at a school that has since transferred out of local authority control.


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 63,830 98,276
Levies Raised 4,017 4,097
Total Council Tax Base 2,145 2,178

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 2.0%.

The total Local Levy raised has increased from £4,016,646 in 2019/2020 to £4,096,979 for 2020/2021.

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 technologies we aim to make sure as much waste as possible is sustainably managed. Our Energy from Waste facility in Wilton diverts over 92% 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, 37.8% 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 stopping climate change. 

You can read more about our work on the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority website in the related links area of this page.


Financial Summary






Total Net Expenditure 76.408 77.045
Contribution to reserves 0 0.502
Total requirement 76.408 77.547
Use of Reserves -1.411 0
Levy 74.998 77.457
Levy per head £52.93 £54.49

The Levy for Sefton Council for 2020-21 will be £15,622,453.

For more information contact:

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

Tel: 0151 255 1444
Email: [email protected]


Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner 

I have a statutory duty to ensure an efficient and effective police service is delivered by the Chief Constable on behalf of the public. Similarly I have a responsibility to produce an annual budget, including setting the council tax precept requirement for the police service on Merseyside. The council tax precept requirement provides the balance of funding not covered by government grant and is raised entirely and only for the police service.  

The Government have finally recognised that they have cut police funding too far and consequently Police Officer numbers. To address this issue they have introduced a policy to recruit 20,000 Police Officers nationally by the 31st March 2023, referred to as ‘Operation Uplift’. To support this policy, the Government has provided additional grant funding in 2020/21 to enable forces to meet their officer recruitment targets for the first stage of ‘Operation Uplift’.  Merseyside’s first stage recruitment target is an additional 200 Police Officers by March 2021. It is currently envisaged that the Force will be required to recruit a further 460 Police Officers by 31st March 2023. 

However, the Government have not provided any additional grant to fund local inflationary pressures, commitments and pay awards.  This funding gap will have to be met through the precept and efficiencies from the Force.  The Government has increased the precept referendum threshold to allow all PCCs to increase their precepts by up to £10 on a Band D Equivalent Property without the need to hold a referendum.

I therefore decided to ask the public to support an increase in the precept and I am pleased that over 83% of those who responded to my budget consultation did so. Consequently, I have raised the precept by the maximum allowable, resulting in an additional £5m of precept income. In council tax terms the new precept is £141.31 per property per year at Band A (the majority of taxpayers on Merseyside) and £211.97 at Band D, an increase of £6.67 and £10.00 respectively on the 2019/20 levels. 

Maximising the precept will not only enable me to set a balanced budget in 2020/21, but will maximise the funding available to enable the Chief Constable to recruit the 200 Police Officers required under the first phase of ‘Operation Uplift’, and additionally bring forward the anticipated recruitment of a further 300 Police Officers under ‘Operation Uplift’ by the end of March 2021.

Despite balancing the budget in 2020/21 there remains a very significant financial and policing challenge for the police service in the years ahead.  An organisational strategy aimed at addressing this challenge is currently being developed by the Chief Constable.

Rt Hon Jane Kennedy
Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside

Police and Crime Commissioner Budget

2019/20    2020/21  
£m   £m  
 336.448 Gross Expenditure 370.193  
(2.600) Income (2.790)  
(7.725) Specific Government Grants (17.097)  
326.126 Net Operating Expenditure 350.306  
1.659     Contribution to/(from) Reserves         0.066  
327.785 Net Budget Requirement  350.372  
(123.383) Less: Police General Grant  (133.069) 38.0%
(113.509) DCLG Formula Funding  (121.553) 34.7%
(14.103) Local Council Tax Support Grant (14.103) 4.0%
(1.538) Legacy Council Tax Freeze Grant (1.538) 0.4%
(0.387) Collection Fund Surplus (0.216) 0.1%
(74.865) Council Tax Requirement (79.893) 22.8%
370,674 Tax Base 376,909  
£201.97 Band D Equivalent  £211.97  
£24.00 Increase in Band D Equivalent £10.00  

Why Has the Gross Expenditure Changed?

Gross Expenditure 2019/20 336.449
Operation Uplift 18.707
Allowance for Pay and Price Inflation 8.491
Violence Reduction Partnership Expenditure 3.370
Net Committed Growth/(Savings) 2.583
Increase in Other Specific Grant Expenditure 0.404
None Achievement of Savings from Previous Year 0.189
Gross Expenditure 2020/21 370.193

Why has the Council Tax Requirement Changed?

Council Tax Requirement 2019/20 74.865
Increase in Tax base 1.259
Increase in Band D Equivalent 3.769
Council Tax Requirement 2019/20 79.893


Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

Precept Information 2020-2021

In 2010/11 63% of the Authority’s budget was funded by a Government grant. Between 2010/11 and 2020/21 the Government cut the grant support it gives to the Authority by approximately 32% (50% in real terms). As a consequence over the same period the Authority’s budget reduced by £11.365m or 15.5% (approximately 35% in real terms) from £73.326m to £61.961m. Unfortunately due to the level of cut in Government funding the Authority was left with no alternative but to find savings from its operational response services that resulted in significant reductions in firefighters, appliances and fire stations.

In 2019 the Authority was concerned that as a result of the; heightened terrorist threat; increasing environmental events; significant local building fires; and legislative changes stemming from the Grenfell Tower fire, that the frontline cuts had gone too far and gave a commitment to re-invest in frontline response and protection services. The Authority consulted with the public on its proposals to increase the number of available fire engines from 26 to 30 and increase the number of firefighters from 620 to 642 at an annual cost of £1.0m. The public overwhelmingly supported the planned re-investment and the 2020/21 budget now includes the proposed increase in response and protection services.

After taking into account the expected pay and price inflation and other required budget changes the Authority has set a budget of £61.961m for 2020/21, £1.7m higher than that in 2019/20. The main changes between this year’s budget and last year’s budget are:

Increase in firefighter establishment to 642 £1.0m
LGPS pension deficit payment – no longer required (£0.9m)
2020/21 forecast pay and price inflation  impact £1.5m
Unavoidable growth to cover historic lower income and higher spending levels £0.7m
Expected saving on capital debt servicing costs (£0.6m)

The Authority must adhere to its approved financial plan and increase council tax by just below 2% (the maximum allowable without holding a public referendum) in order to ensure the £1.0m new investment is sustainable over the longer term. This will mean the Band D Council Tax is therefore now £80.40. Most council taxpayers in Merseyside will pay Band A Council Tax of £53.60 about 15p per day towards their Fire and Rescue Service.

Approximately 75% of the Authority’s 2020/21 budget remains committed to delivering operational response and preventative frontline services, as these functions have been recognised as priority areas by the public following extensive consultation. The servicing of historic capital investment funded through borrowing, 10.5%, relates mostly to previous investment in frontline activities such as fire stations, fire appliances and operational equipment. The remaining 14.5% 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 operational and fire control ICT costs.

merseyfire chart


The Authority has issued a precept on the five Merseyside District Councils of £29.224 million, Sefton’s contribution to expenditure financed by precept is £6.629 million, which represents 23% of the total precept.

Summary of Revenue Budget & Council Tax Requirement






84,760 Gross Expenditure 87,977
-4,277 Net Contribution from Reserves -5,571
-20,201 Income & specific Grants for services -20,445
60,282 Budget Requirement 61,961
-245 Collection Fund & Business Rates Surplus -343
-30,813 Government Grant & Business Rate Funding -31,315
29,224 Council Tax Requirement 30,303
370,674 Tax-base 376,909
£78.84 Band D Equivalent £80.40

Contact the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

The Authority values the opinions of the people it serves. If you wish to comment about the services of the Authority please contact Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters on 0151 296 4000.

Ian Cummins, CIPFA
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority
Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters,
Bridle Road,
Bootle, L30 4YD

Telephone: 0151 296 4000

E-Mail: [email protected]


Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor & Combined Authority 

Office of the Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

The Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region works as head of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) to ensure that all areas of our region share in the benefits of a fair and prosperous local economy.

As well as leading on issues such as the economy, transport, housing and skills, the Mayor is responsible for shaping the future of our region around the needs of our communities. He is your voice and the voice of the Liverpool City Region on the world stage and when lobbying government for greater funding and local decision-making.

The Mayor is accountable to, and represents the people of, all six boroughs in Liverpool City Region: Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

In accordance with the Combined Authorities (Finance) Order 2017, the Metro Mayor is seeking to set a Mayoral precept for 2020/21 of £19 per Band D property - which is a freeze on the last year’s precept and the lowest rate in the country.  Most Council Tax payers across the City Region will pay a Band A Council Tax rate of £12.67 per year.  

This funding will help the Metro Mayor and Combined Authority to keep delivering for you – as it has with the £400m of investment across the city region, the 9000 jobs and 5500 apprenticeships it has helped to create and the almost £50m it has invested in local colleges. The precept will enable CA to ensure its long-term financial sustainability, and see that the Mayoral objectives – a London-style integrated transport network, a fairer, more inclusive local economy and a green industrial revolution – are delivered.






159,935 Gross Expenditure 270,351
(42,945) Income and Specific Grants (143,105)
(95,400) Income from Levy (97,403)
(13,915) Contributions from Reserves (21,828)
7,675 Council Tax Requirement 8,015
405,624 Tax Base 412,268
19.00 Band D Equivalent 19.00

The movement in the gross expenditure budget is detailed below.

Gross Expenditure 2019/20 159,935
Allowance for pay inflation 256
Increase in Merseytravel and Tunnels operating grants 347
Passport Special Rail Grant 94,557
Change in debt servicing costs -1,428
Capital and capacity payments to Merseytravel 8,282
CA additional capacity and one off election costs 5,202
Halton Differential Levy 3,200
Gross Expenditure 2020/21 270,351

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 2020/21 for each of the Merseyside Councils within the LCRCA is:


Transport Levy



Transport Levy


Knowsley 10,006 10,240
Liverpool 33,095 33,869
St Helens 12,073 12,321
Sefton 18,490 18,851
Wirral 21,736 22,123
Total 95,400 97,404

For historical and legal reasons Halton 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 £3.2m for 2020/21.

Mayor Steve Rotheram
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor

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

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