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Budget consultation hits the road

Liverpool City Council is taking its budget consultation on the road next week – so it can engage with residents face to face about options to save £34 million next year.

Budget consultation hits the road

by Culture Liverpool

The local authority has already seen its funding reduced by around 65 per cent since 2010, with spending now £465 million a year less than it was in 2010.

Council Tax only raises 40 per cent of the total needed, with the remainder coming from government grants and business rates.

For the first time, the council is hitting the streets on a six-day roadshow, to talk to residents about the budget proposals in person, giving people without easy online access a chance to voice their opinions and feed in their views.

The roadshow events are being held at the following venues:

• Monday 13 December – 12-3pm at Old Swan Tesco
• Tuesday 14 December – 12-3pm at Breck Road Everton (near Asda)
• Wednesday 15 December – 12-3pm at Tesco Park Road
• Thursday 16 December – 12-3pm at Belle Vale Shopping Centre (to be confirmed)
• Friday 17 December – 12-3pm at Speke Shopping Centre
• Saturday 18 December – 12-3pm Williamson Square, Liverpool City Centre

Proposals totalling £18.7 million have been drawn up following consultation between the Cabinet and council officers, including a mix of reductions in spending and generating additional income.

The options include:

• A review of the controlled parking zones and services – to generate £1.6 million
• A £40 annual charge for green bin collections – to raise £1.7 million
• Charging private landlords and social housing providers for pest control – to bring in £200k
• Managing demand for school transport – to save £500,000
• Reviewing high cost packages of care to ensure individual needs are being met and funded in the correct way – to save £1.9 million
• Increasing revenue from filming, cruise liners and events – to bring in £270,000
• Management restructure – to save £200,000
• Review of subsidy given to several externally run libraries – to save £280,000

The roadshow is part of a wider consultation on proposals, and also includes a ‘budget calculator’ enabling residents to indicate where they would like savings to be made, as well as drop-in sessions for people to feedback, briefings for councillors and stakeholders and a live online Q&A with Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson.

All of the budget saving proposals will be viewed in relation to the Mayor’s triple-lock regarding their impact on people, planet and equality.

As well as hearing more about the budget proposals, residents visiting the roadshow will also be able to speak to council staff about other services – including how to register their interest in becoming a foster carer, and more about the fitness offer through Lifestyles centres.

The city’s Covid Rapid Response Vehicle will also be onsite daily, to offer free Covid testing.

The events will be Covid-19 compliant and staff will be wearing face coverings.

Following completion of the consultation, a final budget report will be drawn up and considered by the Cabinet in February 2022, and will then be debated and voted on in a special budget council meeting on Wednesday 2 March 2022.

More information on the budget can be found at https://liverpool.gov.uk/budget and the budget calculator can be found at https://liverpool.budgetsimulator.com/

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Cllr Jane Corbett, said:

“There are no easy decisions in the proposals being put forward for consultation.

“These budget proposals protect Children’s Centres, Lifestyles leisure centres, our council-run libraries and our anti-poverty grants but there will inevitably be a lot of pain to go through due to the triple whammy of austerity, Covid-19 and in-work poverty.

“What we are determined to do is give people the opportunity to express their views in a range of different ways.

“We do not have a monopoly on ideas or opinions and we know that not everybody has access to the internet or email, so taking ourselves to where people are, rather than expecting them to come to us, gives us a chance to hear from those who might not normally have their voices heard.

“We really need residents to get involved and have their say during the ten-week consultation period. We need to come together to build back fairer. All concerns, ideas and views are very welcome.”

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