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Sefton’s Budget Meeting and Council Tax set for 2019/20

Council Tax for services provided by Sefton Council will increase by 2.99% to fund the unprecedented demand on Children’s Social Care, protecting our vulnerable older people, and being able to continue to provide the everyday services residents rely on.

At Full Council this evening (February 28), councillors agreed the third year of the budget plan and approved the 2.99% rise for 2019/20 for the local authority’s services.

For an easy explanation of how your council tax is spent, click here.

It means that for the provision of council services, it will cost the majority of householders an extra 78p or less per week (figures based on a Band C property).

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to increase our Council Tax but we’ve been left with no alternative because we just don’t get enough funding from the Government to continue to run the services that our communities rely on. This is the only way to ensure we manage to provide the vital services everyone expects from us. From caring for children, the elderly and other vulnerable people to emptying the bins, cleaning the streets and maintaining the roads, as well as still providing leisure, cultural and community activities and supporting the skills and business sectors that are essential to the growth of our economy.

“To put it into context, between 2010 and 2020, Sefton will have lost the equivalent of £746 from each household as the Government continues to reduce the money it gives to councils. That is a huge loss and we keep warning about the huge risk to local services. This loss also comes at a time when we have seen massive increases in pressures for services. Not only due to the unprecedented loss of funding and the ongoing social care crisis, but a surge in demand for children’s services, support for special educational needs and disabilities and the uncertainty over schools funding.”

Due to the increased pressure for social care services, Sefton has still had to identify some new savings to ensure a balanced budget this year. At full Council, a number of options were agreed that would have the least impact on Sefton’s communities.

Cllr Maher continued: “We will continue to invest our resources where it will deliver the most impact – in creating jobs, protecting our most vulnerable children, adults and families and in improving the local environment. Despite the challenges we face we will work hard with our partners to remain a confident and connected borough. We believe that with the right funding, we can continue to lead our areas and improve residents’ lives.”

The overall Council Tax bill – which includes police and fire services charges and the new tax for a Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor – will go up by 5.11% to £1,662.32 for the coming financial year (for a Band C property). This excludes the amounts charged by Parish Councils for homes in their areas.

In the following video, Cllr Maher provides insight into the pressures facing Sefton Council as it continues to deliver quality services to residents despite increasing pressure on its resources.

Sefton launches SEND evaluation to seek out parent’s views

Sefton Council  have commissioned researchers at Edge Hill University to undertake an evaluation of Special Education Needs and Disability services in the borough.

The evaluation, funded by Sefton’s Clinical Commissioning Groups, will involve a sample of parents and carers with children and young people who have SEND and will help shape and improve the services Sefton can offer.

Key partners including schools, and health and care services will also be asked to give their views in the evaluation.

The results will then be used to inform policy, strategy, prioritisation and development of activities and services related to the needs of young people aged under 25 years with a special educational need or disability.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools & Safeguarding, said: “We have asked Edge Hill University to help us better understand Special Education Needs and Disability provision throughout Sefton.

“This is a very important project to undertake and we need parents and carers who are involved to give their views, both good and bad, so that we can positively shape how we deliver and develop services in the future.

“The ultimate goal of this evaluation is to help our children and young adults with SEND needs, as well as their families and support networks.”

Participation in the evaluation is completely voluntary and those who contribute will be given complete anonymity.

The evaluation is expected to be completed before April and a final report will be shared widely and posted on the local offer.

To find out more email public.health@sefton.gov.uk.

Funding approved for Heritage Lottery Project in Southport

Further funding has been approved by Sefton Council to allow a second round application for Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) for a major project in Southport town centre.

Development funding of £70K was awarded by the HLF last year to enable Sefton Council, in partnership with Southport BID, to progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £1.6m. With contributions from Sefton Council and property owners it could be worth up to £2.36m in total.

At Cabinet on February 7, £200K of match funding was approved to enable Sefton Council and Southport BID to submit a second round application in June, 2019.

The Southport Townscape Heritage Project aims to enhance the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the seafront so that the two become more integrated.

The project aims to increase the levels of economic activity within a target area and reduce the number of vacant and underused properties.

It will focus on historic properties between Lord Street and the Promenade and aims to complement the previous HLF restoration of King’s Gardens and the recent £2m award from the Coastal Communities funds for the pier.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control, said: “We initially beat off fierce competition from 23 other bids to be one of only 5 areas within the UK to be awarded the grant.

“This match funding will allow us to apply for a full National Lottery grant worth about £1.6m which we will submit in June with a final decision made in the autumn.

“If approved we really believe the money will enhance the links between Lord Street and the Promenade reducing the vacant and poorly maintained properties and greatly increasing economic activity in these areas.”

The project aims to carry out essential conservation work , involving structural and external repair of historic buildings, the reinstatement of authentic architectural features and works to bring vacant floor space in historic buildings back into use.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, added: “Working with partners like Southport Civic Society and other education and training providers, we hope the project will bring community, volunteering and educational benefits to local residents.

“Lord Street and the Promenade conservation areas provide a rich and nationally significant collection of historic buildings and landscaping. We firmly believe preserving this heritage for residents, businesses and visitors alike will contribute greatly to the town’s economy while providing a strong sense of identity, local pride and community value.”

Part of the initial development funding has allowed for the recruitment of a dedicated Project Officer, Paul Crowther, who joined Sefton in November 2018 from the successful Townscape Heritage Project in Winckley Square, Preston. Paul has been busy working on developing the second round application and liaising with Southport BID.

Rob Uffendell, Chair of Southport Business Improvement District, said: “This is a great step forward for our town. The success of our joint application for first round funding demonstrated the effectiveness of the private and public sectors working together for the greater good of our town. We’re confident that continuing this collaboration will now help ensure a successful second round application resulting in £1.6m grant funding to improve a core area of our town centre and is an example of how such collaborations are important in encouraging future investment in Southport.”

For more information please visit our webpage www.sefton.gov.uk/townscape alternatively get in touch on 0151 934 3155 or e-mail Paul.Crowther.sefton.gov.uk

Learn more about where you live through a Community Chat

Local residents are being encouraged to learn more about their communities through the new Community Chat events.

Residents can now engage even further with Sefton Council and its many different partners through the Community Chat events that replace the Constituency Forums.

Led by Sefton Council, the Community Chats are a more relaxed way for residents to talk to community groups, agencies, councillors and Council departments about any issues they have.

They will be held in each of the respective Parliamentary Constituencies within Sefton; Bootle, Central Sefton and Southport.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Corporate Services, said: “The Community Chat events are designed as an opportunity for local residents to really learn more about their communities.

“The format will be a market-place style at which there will be a number of tables for community groups, partners, ward Councillors and internal Sefton departments to attend.

“People can move around from table to table depending on their particular needs and learn more about things that affect their community.

“We really hope that this format will benefit our valued local communities so that they can attend in a more relaxed way at which they feel that the Council and its partners are more accessible and friendly.

“Dates for the Constituency Chats have been announced and I really hope people take the time to attend them.”

The planned dates for the Community Chats across Sefton are:

• Southport – Wednesday, February 13 at 6pm in The Atkinson Studio Room
• Bootle – Wednesday, February 27 at 6pm at Bootle Town Hall
• Sefton Central – Thursday, March 7 at 6pm at Formby PDC

Each forum is expected to finish around 8pm.

Sefton’s Public Engagement Panel has reached it’s 10-year milestone.


Sefton Council is delighted to be celebrating Sefton’s Public Engagement and  Consultation Panel’s 10th Anniversary.

 The Council and several partners developed the panel to ensure they collectively listen to residents and give them the opportunity to have a say in the services that are delivered.

 One of the ways this is done is by going out into our communities to carry out engagement and consultation activities. It is the panel’s responsibility to ensure these consultations are delivered effectively.

 The panel includes representatives from Sefton Council, South Sefton and Southport Clinical Commissioning Group, Sefton CVS, Sefton Young Advisors, Sefton Equalities Partnership, Merseyside Police, Mersey Fire and Rescue Service and Mersey Travel.

To find out more about how you can get involved follow this link; http://ow.ly/gEU130noiwn

 Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services and Chair of the Public Engagement and Consultation Panel, said:

 “We are all extremely happy that after 10 years this panel is still going strong and long may it continue. Working together and sharing the panel’s expertise has enabled us to successfully advise on 168 consultation and engagement activities, meaning we have listened to the views of thousands of residents from across the borough.

 “I am also very proud that this panel has been held up as an example of extremely good practice in relation to how we engage with the public and with our partners.

 “We are committed to delivering quality services which work in the best interest of residents, workers or visitors to Sefton. To do this, we recognise that we must engage with the public when making decisions and we encourage as many people as possible to give us their views.”

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