Council Tax

How your Council Tax is spent

Sefton Council's Budget for 2021/22 has seen a 4.99% 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 £230,116,918 (excluding Parishes) for 2021/2022. This is £17.7m less than the budget for 2020/2021. However, this is due to a significant deficit on Business Rates from 2020/2021 of £38.5m which is offset by additional grants received in 2020/2021 which have been brought forward. Excluding this the net budget has increased by £20.8m. The analysis of the Council Tax Requirement and Budget Requirement is provided below:

Sefton MBC Budget Requirement





Gross Expenditure on Council Services 574.7 559.3
Gross Expenditure by Levying Bodies 34.7 34.6
Total Gross Expenditure 609.4 593.9
Total Gross Income -361.6 -363.8
Sefton Budget Requirement before non-specific Government Grants (Note 1) 247.8 230.1
Non-Specific Government Grants -24.6 -40.8
General Balances - Increase 1.5 1.5
Sefton Budget Requirement 224.7 190.8
Less: General Government Grant -21.2 -21.3
Less: Retained Business Rates Income -66.8 -67.6
Less: Business Rates Deficit from 2020/2021 offset by additional grants received 0 38.5
Less: Collection Fund Surplus (-) / Deficit – Council Tax 2.0 1.4
Sefton Council Tax Requirement 138.7 141.8
Council Tax (Band C)
£1,451.58 £1,524.02

Note 1: The table below highlights the major variances in the Budget Requirement (before non-specific Government Grants) between 2020/2021 and 2021/2022:

  £m £m
Pay and Price Inflation Contingency       3.0
Additional Resources to Maintain and Improve Services    
Additional Resources relating to 2020/2021 Service Pressures - Social Care  8.5   
Additional Resources relating to 2020/2021 Service Pressures – Other Services  3.1   
Net Savings / Efficiency Measures   -4.4
Net Impact of COVID-19 (before government funding)   10.6
Business Rates S31 Grant brought forward from 2020/2021 to offset deficit   -38.5
Change in Sefton Budget Requirement   -17.7

Sefton Council's Revenue Budget
Sefton's Analysis of General Fund Expenditure & Income for 2021/2022 can be viewed below.

Sefton's Estimated Balances
Sefton’s general revenue balances are estimated to be £10.0m as at 31 March 2021. The 2021/2022 Budget assumes general balances will be increased by £1.5m. This excludes reserves held by schools; these are estimated to be £9m as at 31 March 2021.

Capital Investment Plan 2021/2022 - 2022/2023
The Council's Capital Investment Plan for 2021/2022 – 2022/2023 currently totals £55.778m and is funded primarily from Central Government Allocations, Specific Capital Grants, Capital Receipts and Council Borrowing. The Plan includes schemes for Strategic Investment (£7.098m), Adult Social Care (£11.006m), Highways and Public Protection (£11.961m) and Schools & Families (£10.109m). It should be noted that any resources identified as unspent in 2020/2021 at the year-end will slip into 2021/2022 and additional resources may yet be allocated to new schemes in 2021/2022.

Sefton's Employees
The number of employees within Sefton in March 2021 is 5,709 (full time equivalent). The figure in March 2020 was 5,618, i.e. there has been an increase of 91. However, included in the March 2020 figure are 134 employees who have been employed to undertake COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.


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 92,022 130,113
Levies Raised 4,097 4,179
Total Council Tax Base 2,178 2,163

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 £4,096,979 in 2020/2021 to £4,178,918 for 2021/2022.

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, 37.2% 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 at

Financial Summary






Total Net Expenditure 77.045 80.391
Contribution to reserves 0.502 0
Total requirement 77.547 80.391
Use of Reserves 0 -2.755
Levy 77.457 77.636
Levy per head (Merseyside)  £54.49 £54.29

The Levy for Sefton Council for 2021-22 will be £15,510,816.

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 

It is my statutory duty to ensure that 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. This precept provides the balance of funding not covered by government grant and is raised entirely and only for the police service, enabling the full cost of policing to be met.

The Government has provided additional funds to enable Forces to meet their officer recruitment targets for the second stage of ‘Operation Uplift’, which delivers the Government’s policy to recruit 20,000 police officers nationally by 31st March 2023. Merseyside’s second stage target has already been met due to my decision to recruit an additional 500 police officers in 2020/21, taking the urgent steps necessary to rebuild the Force. Of the remaining additional 660 police officers that Merseyside expect to recruit under ‘Operation Uplift’, 160 will be recruited in the next financial year. This will deliver a total police officer workforce of 4,127, the highest number of officers since I was first elected in 2012.

However, the Government did not provide sufficient funds to cover local inflationary pressures, commitments and pay awards. This funding gap is expected to be met through the precept and efficiency savings from the Force. The Government has said that PCCs can increase their precepts by up to £15 on a Band D equivalent property without the need to hold a referendum.

I therefore asked the public to support an increase in the precept and I am pleased that 62% of those who responded did so. Consequently, I have raised the precept by the maximum allowed which will raise an additional £5.6m of precept income. In council tax terms the new precept is £151.31 per property per year at Band A (the majority of taxpayers on Merseyside) and £226.97 at Band D, an increase of £10.00 and £15.00 respectively on the 2020/21 levels. This has enabled me to set a balanced budget in 2021/22, allowing the Chief Constable to address inflationary and other demand pressures, protect police staff jobs and provide sufficient funding to enable the Chief Constable to rebuild the Force.

Rt Hon Jane Kennedy
Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside

Police and Crime Commissioner Budget

2020/21    2021/22  
£m   £m  
370.193 Gross Expenditure 389.633  
(2.790) Income (2.790)  
(17.097) Specific Government Grants (17.732)  
350.306 Net Operating Expenditure 369.111  
0.066     Contribution to/(from) Reserves         0.627  
350.372 Net Budget Requirement 369.738   
(133.069) Less: Police General Grant (142.181)  38.4%
(121.553) DCLG Formula Funding (128.490) 34.8%
(14.103) Local Council Tax Support Grant (14.103) 3.8%
(1.538) Legacy Council Tax Freeze Grant (1.538) 0.4%
(0.216) Collection Fund Surplus 1.256 (0.3%)
(79.893) Council Tax Requirement (84.682) 22.9%
376,909 Tax Base 373,099  
£211.97 Band D Equivalent £226.97   
£10.00 Increase in Band D Equivalent £15.00  

Why Has the Gross Expenditure Changed?

Gross Expenditure 2020/21 370.193
Police Uplift Programme 13.145
Allowance for Pay and Price Inflation 4.633
Net Committed Growth/(Savings) 0.897
Increase in Other Specific Grant Expenditure 0.635
None Achievement of Savings from Previous Year 0.127
Gross Expenditure 2021/22 389.630

Why has the Council Tax Requirement Changed?

Council Tax Requirement 2020/21 79.893
Increase in Tax base (0.808)
Increase in Band D Equivalent 5.597
Council Tax Requirement 2021/22 84.682



Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

Precept Information 2021-2022

Between 2010/11 and 2020/21 the Government cut the Authority’s funding by over 32% or approximately 50% in real terms. That resulted in unavoidable reductions in the front line operational services over this period.

The Authority was concerned that increasing environmental; terrorist; fire; and protection risks meant previous frontline cuts that were required to balance budgets over the last decade had gone too far. Last year, on the back of the Chief Fire Officers recommendations, the Authority re-invested £1.0m in frontline response and protection services increasing the number of available fire appliances from 26 to 30 and the number of firefighters from 620 to 642. The 2021/22 budget sees a further re-investment in frontline services by increasing the number of fire appliances to 32, and a capital programme that invests £52m in the Service’s infrastructure by 2025/26, including a potential new £25m Training and Development Academy. The new investments also include a temporary increase in the number of protection staff employed to deal with the Grenfell Tower recommendations.

How We Are Funded
The Authority’s 2021/22 Gross Budget is £75.4m. This excludes the £10m the Authority incurs in its role as lead authority for the National Assurance Resilience initiative, as this relates to a Home Office function and is fully funded by them. The Gross budget is the total amount that the Authority plans to spend, including expenditure funded by reserves, fees and specific grants. The pie graph below outlines how the £75.4m is funded:

Pie Chart showing the 'How We Are Funded' breakdown

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






Council Tax for a Band D property

Gross Budget 75.444  
Income & specific Grants -11.718  
Use of Reserves -4.476  
Net Budget Requirement 59.250  
Collection Fund Deficit 2.836  
Local Business Rate Adjustment -0.115  
Government Settlement Funding -31.377  
Council Tax Requirement 30.594  
Tax-base   373,099.34
Band D Equivalent   £82.00

The Authority set a Council Tax requirement of £30.594m for 2021/22 and a Council Tax for a Band D property of £82.00, a 1.99% increase on the 2020/21 figure of £80.40. This the maximum increase allowed by the Government before the Authority would be required to hold a referendum. By increasing the charge by the maximum it allows the Authority to maintain the investment in frontline services approved in 2020/21 and fund the further investment planned in 2021/22. Most council taxpayers in Merseyside will pay Band A Council Tax of £54.67 about 15p per day towards their Fire and Rescue Service.

The Authority has issued a precept on the five Merseyside District Councils of £30.594 million, Sefton’s contribution to expenditure financed by precept is £6.783 million, which represents 22% of the total precept.

How The Money Is Spent
Approximately 71% of the Authority’s 2021/22 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 15.3%, and relate to investment in frontline activities such as fire stations, fire appliances and operational equipment. The remaining 14.1% 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.

Pie Chart showing the 'How The Money Is Spent' breakdown described above

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,
Director of Finance
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 

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 Metro 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 2021/22 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 creation of 9000 jobs and 5500 apprenticeships, investing tens of millions of pounds in local schools and colleges and overseeing the region’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Metro Mayor has worked with local councils to support local jobs and businesses, through a £50m support package, as well as tailored programmes to help small and socially-trading businesses and continued lobbying for greater support and a fair furlough from central government.

The Metro Mayor has also published an ambitious economic recovery plan for the whole of the city region. In it, he sets out how £1.4 billion in investment could unlock £8.8 billion of projects to begin in the next 12 months, creating more than 100,000 jobs in the process.

The precept will enable the CA to ensure its long-term financial sustainability and help ensure that the Mayoral objectives – a London-style integrated transport network, a fairer, more inclusive local economy, a green industrial revolution and a strong recovery from the Coronavirus – are delivered.






270,351 Gross Expenditure 156,294
(143,105) Income and Specific Grants (43,220)
(97,403) Income from Levy (97,404)
(21,828) Contributions from Reserves (8,040)
8,015 Council Tax Requirement 7,630
412,268 Tax Base 401,579
19.00 Band D Equivalent 19.00

The movement in the gross expenditure budget is detailed below.

Gross Expenditure 2020/21 270,351
Increase in costs associated with the delivery of Mayoral priorities 1,787
Pay associated costs 722
Reduction in Merseytravel and Tunnels operating grants (1,803)
Special Rail Grant paid direct to Merseytravel (94,577)
Change in debt servicing costs (7,115)
Reduction in Capital and other payments to Merseytravel (13,091)
Gross Expenditure 2021/22 156,294

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 2021/22 for each of the Merseyside Councils within the LCRCA is:


Transport Levy



Transport Levy


Knowsley 10,240 10,279
Liverpool 33,869 33,924
St Helens 12,321 12,302
Sefton 18,851 18,828
Wirral 22,123 22,071
Total 97,404 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 2021/22.

Mayor Steve Rotheram
Metro Mayor Liverpool City Region

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

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