You can have your say on the £34m of cuts that need to be made to the Liverpool City Council budget at a consultation roadshow taking place across the city this week. Tony McDonough reports
People across Liverpool will get a chance to gave their say on the 2022/23 city council budget this week with cuts of £34m being proposed.
From Monday, December 13 there will be a six-dat roadshow traveling to venues across Liverpool. People will be able to discuss the budget proposals in person, offering those without easy online access a chance to have their say.
Liverpool City Council has already seen its funding reduced by around 65%since 2010, with spending now £465m a year less than it was in 2010. Council Tax only raises 40% of the total needed, with the remainder coming from Government grants and business rates.
The roadshow events are being held at the following venues:
- Monday, December 13, – 12-3pm at Old Swan Tesco.
- Tuesday, December 14 – 12-3pm at Breck Road Everton (near Asda).
- Wednesday December 15 – 12-3pm at Tesco Park Road.
- Thursday December 16 – 12-3pm at Belle Vale Shopping Centre (to be confirmed).
- Friday December 17 – 12-3pm at Speke Shopping Centre.
- Saturday December 18 – 12-3pm Williamson Square, Liverpool city centre.
Proposals totalling £18.7m 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 £1.6m.
- A £40 annual charge for green bin collections – to raise £1.7m.
- Charging private landlords and social housing providers for pest control – to bring in £200,000.
- 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 £1.9m.
- 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. There willl also be 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. Residents visiting the roadshow will also be able to speak to council staff about other services.
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, March 2, 2022.
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 really need residents to get involved and have their say during the ten-week consultation period.