Restricted services will be in place during Christmas and New Year as most Sefton Council staff are required to take unpaid leave as part of continuous cost-saving measures.
Similar to previous years, residents can still access a range of information and transactions via the council website – sefton.gov.uk.
Emergency contacts on December 24, 27, 28, and 31 between 9am-5.30pm:
Children’s Social Care: 0151 934 3114
Adult Social Care: 01704 704389 (North)
Adult Social Care: 0151 529 3761 (South)
For Social Care emergencies at all other times call the Emergency Duty Team 0151 934 3555
This includes checking bin collections, applying for licences, reporting environmental issues or paying Council Tax and business rates.
As a result of the unpaid leave, to be taken on December 24, 27, 28 and 31 most council buildings will be closed, contributing to significant savings as part of the budget setting process.
Services that will continue to operate include critical social care services for adults and children, a limited street cleaning service, Registrars, domestic and commercial waste collections and urgent highways issues, including gritting.
Residents are also being encouraged to recycle as much waste as possible and use the household waste recycling centres across the borough.
Similar to other years, the green wheelie bin collection for garden waste will be suspended from the end of November and will return in March, 2019.
Some Sefton Council-run leisure centres will be open at varying times during these dates and users are advised to check here for opening times.
Merseytravel is once again offering free bus services on Christmas Day, to help people make hospital visits or to spend time with their friends and family.
Buses will operate a limited service from around 12 noon until around 6pm on routes serving hospitals across Merseyside.
A list of social care emergency phone numbers is attached below (see notes to editors).
Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader of Sefton Council, said: “The Christmas shutdown has been in operation for a number of years now and it contributes to the savings we have to make due significant reductions in Government funding.
“Over the course of the financial year, our hard working staff have their pay reduced in order to take four days unpaid leave.
“Other savings from the closure period come from the reduced need for heating, lighting and running buildings, equipment and vehicles. This all helps contribute to the £64m of saving we need to make a balanced budget by 2020.
“While reduced services are being operated, we will still maintain key services for some of the most vulnerable residents in our communities. However, it is still clear to see that austerity is not over and the harsh Government cuts are still biting us with a noticeable impact on our residents.”
To access a range of service and transactions online, visit sefton.gov.uk. An automated phone service will be in place between December 22 and January 1, 2019 (inclusive) on 0345 140 0845 and most service requests will only be actioned beyond January.