Friday, 16 January 2009

City Council budget details

Here's a press releast about the budget in Liverpool

•Liverpool City Council unveils budget for 2009/10
•£4.8 million in additional spending to improve life for residents •Extra cash for culture, schools and tackling crime •New Environmental Enforcement team to tackle litter, dumping and graffiti and dereliction.

LIVERPOOL has unveiled its budget for the next financial year.

The proposals – which will see council tax bills increase by 4.45 percent or 71 pence per week for most residents (1) - includes an extra £4.8 million of additional investment to improve key services and create safer neighbourhoods.

The extra funds include:

•An additional £2.5 million on culture (over and above what was spent before the city won Capital of Culture) to build on the achievements of 2008

•£1 million in resources to successfully deliver Building Schools for the Future, which will see every secondary school in the city replaced over the next few years

•£318,000 to improve housing and neighbourhood services

•£70,000 to create a round the clock dog warden service and the creation of a new integrated enforcement team to tackle litter, dumping and graffiti

•£100,000 to force property owners to clean up derelict sites and bring properties back into use

City Council leader Warren Bradley said: “We have worked hard this year to produce a budget which addresses the needs of the city and is at a level which is affordable for our residents.

“We consulted widely on this year’s budget and have made sure that our spending is linked to people’s priorities.

“This budget will allow us to continue improving life for people in Liverpool – we are making improvements in educational attainment, tackling crime and disorder, and increasing the number of residents cared for by social services.

“We have just had a terrific year in the spotlight as Capital of Culture, so are committing significant extra investment to make sure we continue to build on our achievements.

“Never before has Liverpool set its budget so early, and that is down to extremely good financial management and planning.”

Community safety was identified as the number one priority of local people during the consultation, so the council has reflected that in its proposals.

Around £1 million is to be spent over the next three years strengthening the anti social behaviour unit and tackling problem families - including those who are members of gangs – through a Family Intervention Plus programme.

And a new integrated enforcement team will be created tackling issues such as litter, dumping and graffiti and dereliction.

There will also be additional activities on a Friday and Saturday night for young people, and £1.4 million will be spent developing youth and alternative education facilities in Anfield and Old Swan.

The city is creating business champions in all key council services to strengthen the relationship with local firms.

There will also be a pilot programme through Liverpool Vision to help businesses understand the challenges they are likely to face through the credit crunch.

And the city will continue to offer free access to its Lifestyles fitness centres for under 17s and over 60s.

Deputy leader and executive member for Finance, Councillor Flo Clucas, said: “We have overhauled our systems this year to make sure that every single penny counts and is accounted for.

“Across the council, we have examined every line of the budget and tracked it back to make sure it fits in with our priorities and aims.

“And we have taken into account the views of local people - whose money we are charged with spending – when putting together this year’s proposals.

“The result is a spending plan which accurately reflects the needs and wishes of the community.”

The budget includes £13.7 million in efficiency savings which will not impact on front line services, as well as £4.4 million of service reductions.

The level of council tax does not include the precepts and levies which are set by the fire, police and transport authorities, as they have not yet been decided.

The budget for 2009/10 will be considered at a full meeting of the council on January 28.


(1) This will be the increase for Band A properties, which make up 62 percent of homes in the city

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