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Sefton Council buys Bootle Strand shopping centre

Sefton Council has purchased the Strand in a deal which sees the shopping centre return to local ownership for the first time in many years.

Not only will the purchase contribute significantly to the delivery of the Council’s ambitious regeneration plans for Bootle Town Centre, it also provides much needed new revenue streams for us to support local services.

With services under pressure due to cuts to council budgets at a national level, Sefton Council has been looking for new ways to generate income to limit the impact of cuts. The purchase of the Strand is a step to ensure we can continue to deliver the services our residents need in the future.

The purchase has been fully funded through a loan and comes at no expense to the taxpayers and residents of Sefton. The income generated by the centre will more than cover the loan repayment costs and the centre’s running costs. Meaning enough money left over to contribute to much needed local services and new regeneration projects.

A move to secure jobs and regenerate the area

The Strand is a major provider of jobs in the area and an important place for local residents to meet and shop. Taking control of the centre allows us to secure its future, protect jobs and use the centre to spearhead the redevelopment of the surrounding area.

We look forward to working with local communities to make sure that the Strand continues to perform a valuable role within the town centre and for the people of Bootle.

An ambitious new direction for the Council

The purchase of the Strand marks a new era for the Council, one in which we will take greater control over the ways we generate the income we need to support local jobs and services for the people of Sefton.

Other councils in the North West have taken ownership of key assets in their boroughs to great success. We are adopting this tried and tested model to help unlock future development opportunities and assist us in attracting additional private sector investment.

This purchase is a concrete example of how the Council is finding new ways to deliver economic growth and regeneration, generate new income streams and continue to support local communities.

Exciting times ahead for Sefton

The purchase of the Strand will provide the town with the boost it needs to progress regeneration plans for Bootle and make a significant contribution to the outcomes of the Sefton 2030 Vision.

We will be spending the next few months putting together plans for the future development of the centre, and how it can better serve the people of Bootle and visitors from the surrounding areas.

Klondyke Redevelopment

Sefton Council has announced that the Bellway Homes are set to commence work at the Klondyke Development on Monday, March 13.

The major milestone will see the construction of 142 homes on the site which has already been cleared and prepared for redevelopment.

 Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “I am delighted that work is finally set to start on this development, bringing much needed quality housing to the borough.

“Importantly this development will have wider reaching impact on regeneration with increased footfall for local shops and businesses.

“The new estate which has already been finished is an example of the future of the Klondyke and the future of Bootle. I look forward to seeing this final project completed.”

Budget 2017/2018

Due to huge budget savings Sefton Council has to achieve and the spiralling cost of Adult Social Care, Council Tax for 2017/18 will rise by 4.99% for Sefton Council services. The total Council Tax, including Police and Fire services charges, will increase by 4.55%. This evening (March 2) councillors at Bootle Town Hall approved a Council Tax increase in 2017/18 of 1.99% along with a Social Care Council Tax Precept of 3% in 2017/18. This results in an overall increase in Council Tax for Sefton Council services of 4.99% in 2017/18. Due to central Government policy, between 2011-17, Sefton Council has faced a funding gap of £169m. Between 2017-20 a further £64m of savings has been identified to set a balanced budget. This is a total funding gap of £233m. In total, the Council will have lost 51% of Government funding between 2010 and 2020. This is equivalent to £722 from every household in Sefton. Delivering a further £64m savings on top of the £169m achieved to date will have a significant impact on the delivery of Council services. The approved report also explains how the budget setting process links with the Sefton 2030 Vision. It also outlines the four key areas of a new Framework for Change which the Council is now embarking on: 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: “By law we have to set a balanced budget and it is with a heavy heart we have opted for a 4.99% Council Tax increase for Sefton Council services for 2017/18.  “This includes the maximum we can raise it specifically for Adult Social Care. But what is deeply disappointing is that the Government knows that Adult Social Care is underfunded and their response is to pass the buck onto local Council Tax payers. “Not only is this unacceptable, it will not even scratch the surface of what this Council needs to care for its older vulnerable people. We will of course continue to prioritise services to vulnerable people but this is getting more and more difficult as cuts get deeper and deeper. “Ultimately we have no option other than to increase our Council Tax. Savage cuts by Government of over 50% means that the only alternative is to make even bigger cuts to other local services. “The average Band C property will go up by about £1.17 a week for Sefton Council services. This small weekly increase in Council Tax is essential for us as the Government has reduced our money by the equivalent of £722 from every household in Sefton between 2010 and 2020. “Our residents told us what matters to them through the Imagine Sefton 2030 consultation and what money we have needs to achieve the best outcomes for all our communities while protecting the most vulnerable. “To put it into context, the £64m we have to save is the equivalent to our total spend each year on safeguarding children, emptying your bins, libraries, getting rid of your rubbish, parks and open spaces and cleaning your streets. Try to imagine losing all of that! “How we operate will have to change and 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. “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 increase in Council Tax for a Band C property (for Sefton Council services) will rise from £1.217.93 in 2016/17 to £1,278.70 for 2017/18. Including Police and Fire services the rise for a Band C property will be from £1,427.43 in 2016/17 to £1,492.31 in 2017/18. This excludes the amounts charged by Parish Councils for homes in their areas.

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