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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.

Have your say on Sefton health policies review

Sefton residents are being asked for views about a number of local health policies, being reviewed to make sure NHS resources are used on the most effective treatments.

NHS South Sefton (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are working together with Halton, Liverpool, St Helens and Warrington CCGs to review a group of policies for procedures and treatments that are known as Criteria Based Clinical Treatments (CBCT).  These are routine procedures that are known to have medical benefit only in very specific situations, or for a small number of people.

This is the third phase of the review, which aims to keep NHS care up to date with the latest national clinical guidelines, methods and technology, whilst also making the best use of NHS resources.

The policies that Sefton residents are being asked to provide views on in this latest phase are:

  • Continuous glucose monitoring systems
  • Cough assist devices
  • Insulin pumps
  • Secondary care administered peripheral joint injections
  • Surgery for prostatism or lower urinary tract infections
  • Transanal irrigation

At the same time, the CCGs are letting people know about updates to their policy for Botulinum toxin treatments, bringing it in line with national guidance from NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the Pan Mersey Area Prescribing Committee.

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “It is right that we regularly review the services we commission to ensure that we’re providing the most effective treatments that make the best use of our limited NHS resources.”

Dr Craig Gillespie, local GP and acting chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “This review of policies is about looking at the latest guidelines, treatments, methods and technologies and where there is very little or no evidence of effectiveness, there is no benefit in offering them to patients.

Craig added: “Any procedure comes with risk, so it’s important patients are offered those with the maximum clinical or functional benefit, not for cosmetic or psychological reasons. As clinicians we will explore other, more suitable treatments for patients with these types of needs.”

The information gathered will be used to help develop new or revised polices.

No final decisions have been made at this stage and it is important that as many people as possible give their views to help shape local NHS policies for the future.  Patients who might not be eligible for treatment will still be able to apply through an Individual Funding Request (IFR) where appropriate.

More details on proposed changes to the policies being reviewed along with a survey, open until 7 July 2019, can be found on each CCG’s website www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk or www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk or by emailing mlcsu.involvement@nhs.net or calling 01782 872 506.

Town Lane resurfacing: All you need to know

Diversions will be in place to ensure visitors to Southport Hospital are unaffected by the temporary closure of Town Lane next month.

A small stretch of Town Lane will be closed to traffic between Scarisbrick New Road and Folkestone Road from March 4 to March 15 between 6.30pm and 1am for essential carriageway resurfacing works.

Access for emergency services will be maintained throughout the works.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “In order to safely carry out carriageway resurfacing, it will be necessary to close a small stretch of Town Lane between Kew Roundabout and Folkestone Road.

“Diversions have been put in place to make sure disruption to staff and visitors to Southport Hospital is kept to a minimum.

“These works were agreed in principle last year and we’re delighted that we can carry out this work to help ensure Sefton continues to be a borough on the move.”

Signage will be in place to divert motorists via Town Lane, Southbank Road, Scarisbrick New Road and vice versa.

To keep up to date with the latest road closures and diversions throughout the borough please visit www.roadworks.org.

Police appeal for witnesses following an RTC in Southport

Police are appealing for witnesses following an RTC in Southport involving a bus and a pedestrian.

Officers were called shortly before 5pm yesterday afternoon (February 27) to reports that a collision had taken place involving a bus and a pedestrian.

The pedestrian, a woman in her 40s has been taken to hospital. The extent of her injuries are unknown at this time.

Anyone that witnessed the collision is asked to DM @MerPolCC quoting ref: 715 of 27/2/19.

Police put additional feet on the beat for the first time in nine years

Merseyside Police will be recruiting an additional 80 new police officers and 14 police staff and will be able to stem the loss of approximately 40 officer posts to invest in more police on the streets of Merseyside over the next year.

This means that the force will be able to invest in the creation of a new team to target wanted fugitives and the introduction of a new Cyber Investigations Unit.

The force budget was announced last week at a special public meeting held by Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy and Chief Constable Andy Cooke.

Funding for 40 of the new officer posts has been generated from the increase of the police precept on council tax, following a public consultation held by the Commissioner. Savings that the force has identified throughout the last year, have also generated funding for a further 40 officers and will save approximately 40 police officer posts that were due to be lost.

The force will also bring in an extra 14 police staff in 2019/20.

The new and saved posts will increase capacity on the front line and create dedicated teams of officers and staff to target those who cause the most harm to the communities of Merseyside.

In the last year Merseyside has seen an increase in knife crime, violence and robbery, and the force is still managing the threat that serious organised crime, which includes gun and drug related crime, brings to communities. We want to ensure that we have the capacity to respond to these incidents and put those involved in this type of criminality on the back foot.

To do that we are now in the position to create a Priority Crime Team within Matrix disruption. The sole aim of that team will be to transfer the fear of crime back on to the criminal through targeted, proactive policing.

A centralised Fugitive Team will also be set up to track and arrest wanted criminals and bring them to justice. The team will find those wanted on arrest warrants and who have breached licences and will support the force’s local policing and targeted teams to locate suspects who commit crime in our communities.

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