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Council Tax and Budget Announcement 2018/19

Due to ongoing financial pressure brought on by Government austerity measures and continuing demands on Adult and Children’s Social Care, Council Tax for 2018/19 will rise by 5.99% for Sefton Council services.

The total Council Tax, including Police and Fire services charges, will increase by 5.98% for the coming financial year.

Last year Sefton Council agreed a three year budget plan to save a further £64m.

At Full Council this evening (March 1), councillors agreed the second year of the budget plan and approved a Council Tax increase in 2018/19 of 2.99% along with a Social Care Council Tax Precept of 3% in 2018/19 making a total of 5.99% for Sefton Council services.

Due to central Government policy, from 2011-17, Sefton Council has faced a funding gap of £169m. From 2017-20 a further £64m of savings was 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.

Cllr Ian Maher, Sefton Council’s Labour leader, said:

“Putting it simply, local councils like Sefton have less money to spend on important services because the Government has been giving us less money to support the delivery of local public services every year. This has got to stop.

“Last year we were faced with the challenge of having to find another £64m budget reduction by 2020 and when the Council agreed its three year budget plan we set out how we would do this. I have to say that the plan is broadly on target to deliver the required outcomes brought about by the unfair cuts imposed on us by this and the previous Government.

“We are now entering the second year of our three-year plan and have refreshed our plan slightly to ensure that we can balance the books.

“To help us to deliver our partnership ambitions set out in the 2030 Vision, achieve the best possible outcomes for Sefton and ensure the financial sustainability of the Council, we have four priority areas of work. These are:
– Creating more and better jobs for local people – Economic Growth
– Working together to deliver affordable services which achieve the best possible outcomes for our communities – Public Sector Reform
– Making every pound count in everything we do – Service Delivery Options
– Investing wisely and creatively to make and save money, grow faster and enable our communities to thrive – Strategic Investment

“We have been very clear that we must take control of our own destiny. We live in a very uncertain world of reducing resources, increased demand and concerns over Brexit. The more we can do for ourselves the more resilient we will be in the future.

“This first year of our three year budget plan has seen the Council demonstrate delivery against these bold ambitions with the purchase of the Bootle New Strand Shopping Centre and in principle approval to the creation of a wholly owned Council Housing Development Company. Both of these decisions sit at the heart of Council and partner ambitions and aspirations, to create a great place to live, work, visit and invest.

“The purchase of Bootle New Strand saw a much loved local asset bought back into UK and local ownership. People often ask me why the Council has made this investment and my response is that this type of investment allows us to put money back into local public services for local people. As an example £500k of investment income enables us to support about 14 foster families who provide amazing care and support care for some of Sefton’s most vulnerable children and young people. Council Tax and Business Rates were not the source of funds used to purchase the shopping centre. Instead, the investment was funded through a loan to the Council and servicing the debt can be comfortably accommodated within the financial return to us.

“We will continue to adapt to change, innovating and putting our communities first. Change will continue but we will build on the many strengths and assets we have in Sefton and to be bold and confident about the future for our communities.

“Our focus will continue on generating more of our own money to help fund local public services and make every pound count.

“Sefton has an excellent track record for listening to its communities and will continue to ask for people’s views on any future proposals that would affect the delivery of services in any way.

“While we are confident we can deliver our budget plan, it has to be stressed that all the signs point to further austerity and cuts beyond 2020. There is no indication of a change in government policy re austerity and the pressure on care services are forecast to increase even further.”

The increase in Council Tax for a Band C property (for Sefton Council services) will rise from £1,278.70 in 2017/18 to £1,355.30 for 2018/19. Including Police and Fire services the rise for a Band C property will be from £1,492.31 in 2017/18 to £1,581.55 in 2018/19. This excludes the amounts charged by Parish Councils for homes in their areas.

Sefton residents urged to ‘keep warm, keep well’

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG have joined Sefton Council in encouraging people in Sefton to ‘keep warm, keep well’ over the next few days as severe low temperatures and a bitterly cold wind are forecast from now until the weekend.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings across the North West and although Sefton isn’t currently expected to see any snow over the coming days, that doesn’t lower the risk from freezing cold temperatures.

People over the age of 65, pregnant women, people with a long-term health condition and very young children are amongst those who most at risk from the cold weather. The NHS offers advice on how to keep you and your family well at home including:

  • heating your home to at least 18C (65F)
  • draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts
  • get a flu jab, if you haven’t already had one
  • wear several layers of clothes to maintain body heat
  • have at least one hot meal a day and have hot drinks regularly
  • keep moving and active
  • seek advice from a pharmacist if you are feeling unwell, even if it’s just a cough or cold
  • check in on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they are safe and well

Debbie Fagan, chief nurse at the CCGs, said: “This week looks like it could be one of the coldest we’ve had for some time so it is important for people to prepare. It can be difficult to stay warm in these kind of temperatures and if you know someone who needs help, please do take the time to look in on them over the next few days.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “With temperatures predicted to drop below zero this week, it’s important for residents to make sure that they are prepared for the cold.

“If you’re in good health and able to get about please check in on elderly relatives, neighbours or those who may be living with dementia to ensure they are warm enough and have everything they need at home.”

For more advice on how to ‘keep warm, keep well’, please visit the NHS Choices website:

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/winterhealth/Pages/KeepWarmKeepWell.aspx

Tree Experts agree on a way forward in Formby

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “As promised, a discussion has now taken place involving Sefton Council’s own internal tree experts and the author of the independent report into the condition of trees in Formby Village to consider the inspection findings in more detail.

“As there are still some differences in expert opinions, we have come to a mutual short term position.

“The experts agree that one tree needs to be felled and we will undertake essential health and safety work on two others involving the removal and pruning of dead branches. All trees will be inspected in Spring time to determine the next steps. We will however monitor the impact of any adverse weather in case the trees deteriorate more quickly. This work will start from Monday, March 5.

“It is due to continuous Government funding cuts that the Council only has budget for health and safety work on trees. This was an explicit Council decision as part of a package of measures to balance the budget while prioritising the services that protect the most vulnerable and provide essential services to our communities.

“Therefore, unfortunately we are not able to implement any of the wider recommendations in the report commissioned by the Parish Council. We simply do not have the budget to undertake this type of works and the practical implications of changes to footpaths and winter gritting would need to be carefully assessed.

“We do however recognise that we still need to finalise the longer term prospects for these trees and we will continue to work with Formby Parish Council and the Ward Councillors to consider the implications of the wider recommendations including funding options.”

Grand National Ladies Day Style Award Judging Panel Announced

Thursday 1st March 2018 – Aintree Racecourse is delighted to announce Love Island star Gabby Allen, and celebrity stylist, Lorraine McCulloch as judges for this year’s Style Award, alongside representatives from Outfit Fashion and Liverpool based celebrity salon, Barbara Daley Hair & Beauty.

This year brings one of the best ever Style Award prizes for the Randox Health Grand National Festival, racegoers have the chance of winning a brand new Range Rover Evoque 2.0 SE Tech, £1000 Outfit Fashion vouchers and a hamper from Barbara Daley Hair & Beauty.

Born and raised in Liverpool, Gabby Allen is most recently known for participating on last year’s ITV reality show, Love Island and since finishing the show, Gabby has moved to London progressing her career as a health and fitness instructor and her newly launched fitness app ‘Shape Up with Gabby Allen’.

 

Gabby Allen, said: “I’m so excited to be judging the Style Award. Ladies Day is a fabulous day in Liverpool’s social calendar – it’s all about expressing your individual style whilst having a great day out at one of the biggest horseracing Festivals of the year with your friends. As a Style Judge, it’s not necessarily about the latest trends, I will be looking for outfits with colour, style and personality.”

 

One of the best known and respected fashion stylists in the country, Lorraine McCulloch will head up the judges this year. Her portfolio spans 20 years and includes work with top female celebrities, styling countless shoots with fashion publications and most recently starring as the celebrity stylist on the brand new ITV1 daytime makeover series ‘Star Treatment’. In January, Lorraine styled a globally inspired photoshoot with Ladies Day ambassadors, Sam Quek, Laura Wright and Katie Walsh to announce the new style partnership with Outfit Fashion.

 

Loraine McCulloch said “I am absolutely delighted to be asked to be one of the judges for the Style Award for the internationally renowned Aintree Ladies Day this year. It is a fantastic prize for the winner, I will be looking for a racegoer who stands out from a huge crowd.

“Style isn’t just about wearing a certain label or necessarily spending a lot of money, it’s about being comfortable and confident with a head turning look.”

 

Alongside Gabby and Lorraine will be Marketing Manager, Charlotte Perini, who will be representing Aintree’s new style partner, Outfit Fashion, as well as Andrea Daley, Creative Director of the Liverpool based award-winning hair salon, Barbara Daley Hair & Beauty.

To enter the Style Award and a chance of winning the fantastic prizes on offer, ladies and gentleman must be photographed in front of the beautiful #FabulousFriday flower walls, located in the Red Rum Garden or spotted by one of the seven Style ambassadors across the racecourse.

 

Charlotte Perini, Marketing Manager for Outfit Fashion said “We are excited to be the official style sponsor and with £1000 shopping spree for the winner, they will be the best dressed this Spring/Summer. Ladies Day is the perfect opportunity to make a style statement. Spring is the season of COLOUR, so don’t be afraid to play with pastels, or dare to be different in vintage floral”

 

Tickets for Ladies Day are selling fast so make sure you do not miss out by purchasing your tickets via the website randoxhealthgrandnational.co.uk or by calling 0344 579 3001. Racegoers can also buy tickets directly from the sales office at Aintree Racecourse. Hospitality packages are currently available to purchase, please call 0151 522 2911 for more information.

  • Follow us @AintreeRaces #GrandNational #FabulousFriday
  • Like us @ facebook.com/Aintree
  • Instagram @AintreeRacecourse

About Aintree Racecourse / The Jockey Club

Aintree is home to The Randox Health Grand National, the most famous horse race in the world which is the climax to a three-day Festival meeting in April every year.  The racecourse hosts five other fixtures and is a leading conference centre in the north west of England.  More information is available at aintree.thejockeyclub.co.uk.

Aintree is part of About The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences we offer through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny we make goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. We were founded in 1750 and today we are the largest commercial group in Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and our charity, Racing Welfare. For more information visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.

Key Timings for the Style Award

Please note, the below is subject to change:

10.30am – Gates open and the competition begins

2pm – Competition entries close

2.25pm – The finalists will be announced on the big screens (keep an eye out!)

2.45pm – Finalists to make themselves known to staff at the stage area in the Red Rum Garden

2.55pm – Interviews with the finalists

3.05pm – The winner of the Style Award is crowned

For more information about the Style Award, head to the Randox Health Grand National website here

About Randox / Randox Health

Randox Health is the largest healthcare diagnostics company from the UK, with 1400 employees of 44 different nationalities, including 300 research scientists and engineers. Established in 1982, Randox now has offices and distribution in over 145 countries and exports 95% of its products. It has four key manufacturing and R&D sites: in County Antrim, Northern Ireland; Dungloe, County Donegal, Ireland; Bangalore, India, and in the Greater Washington DC area, USA. Every year over 370 million patients are diagnosed using Randox technology. With over 20% of the world’s major laboratories using Randox products and services, the company works across a range of settings, including hospitals, clinical, research and molecular labs, food testing, forensic toxicology, veterinary labs and life sciences.  Randox has more new tests in development than any other diagnostic company, and the unique patented Randox BioChip Array Technology is the world’s only diagnostic grade biochip.  The Randox Health check, the world’s most advanced preventative health check, is available in Randox Health clinics currently located in London and Belfast, with ambitious plans to roll out a number of new clinics across the UK over 2016-2017. More information on Randox products and services is available at www.randox.com, or for more information on the Randox Health Clinics visit www.randoxhealth.com

For further information please contact:

Please contact Grant Rowley, Regional Communications Manager, The Jockey Club (North West) on 07884 655990 email: grant.rowley@thejockeyclub.co.uk

Or

Nigel Payne, Press Officer for Aintree for The 2017 Randox Health Grand National on 07768 025265 email: nigel@earthsummit.demon.co.uk

 

Nominations now open for Sefton Citizen’s For Good scheme

Nominations are now being accepted for the third round of a major scheme that recognises Sefton residents who make a difference to life in their local communities.

Citizens 4 Good was successfully launched last summer as a joint initiative by Sefton CVS and the Mayor of Sefton’s office.

The scheme aims to highlight the good deeds, support and kindness that local people show to other members of their community.

Nominations can be made by anyone who thinks a particular person deserves to be recognised, including friends, neighbours, work colleagues, schools, community organisations and local councillors.

The process is quick and simple, using a short nomination form available via the Sefton 4 Good website.

Mike Howlett, Sefton CVS Volunteer and Citizenship Lead, commented:

“Since last August we have celebrated 27 Citizens 4 Good in Sefton, and the programme has proved to be very popular.

“However, we know there are plenty more people out there who deserve recognition. We want to encourage people to nominate any Sefton residents they know who have made a difference to their community.”

Shortlisted nominees will be invited to a special celebration event where they will be presented with a certificate recognising their good works by the Mayor of Sefton, Councillor Dave Robinson.

Councillor Robinson said: “We have been delighted with the response to Citizens 4 Good so far and look forward to hearing about even more Sefton residents having a positive impact in their neighbourhoods.”

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday 14th March with the celebration event taking place on Wednesday 28th March in Bootle.

For further information about Citizens 4 Good ring Sefton CVS on 0151 920 0726 or email info@sefton4good.org.uk.

To make a nomination visit www.sefton4good.org.uk to download the appropriate form.

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