Liverpool Vision takes £1.2m hit as city looks to make £90m of savings

City council says this will take the the amount of central Government spending cuts since 2010 to £420m – equivalent to a 68% reduction in funding. Tony McDonough reports.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson needs to find savings of £90m over the next three years

Liverpool’s inward investment agency Liverpool Vision is to have its budget slashed by £1.2m as the city council looks to make cuts of £90m over the next three years.

The council said today this will take the the amount of central Government spending cuts since 2010 to £420m – equivalent to a 68% reduction in funding.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has taken steps to protect adult and children’s social care “as much as possible”, and they account for less than 8% of the overall savings proposed.

Among the proposals to meet the budget gap are:

  • Review of One Stop Shops to save £2.7m
  • Cutting the contact centre opening times to save £2.9m
  • Reducing the cost of inward investment agency Liverpool Vision by £1.2m
  • Setting up a task force to review the libraries service in 2018/19 to save £1.6m

In Children’s Services, savings of £4.1m will be made by reducing the cost of care placements and packages and increasing the number of in-house foster carers to reduce the number employed by Independent Fostering Agencies.

Money has also been set aside to maintain Children’s Centres for the next 12 months with the aim of devising a viable option for the future of the service.

Help for vulnerable

The council is also setting aside £2m in 2017/18 to help the most vulnerable through shielding people from the full impact of reductions in council tax support, crisis payments for food, fuel, clothing and furniture and Discretionary Housing Payments.

It claims reductions would be more severe if it wasn’t for the Mayor’s Invest to Earn programme, which is generating £3m a year to support essential services.

Examples include the rental profit from buying the Cunard Building and Finch Farm training ground.

New homes built or brought back into use as part of the Mayor’s commitment to widen the choice of housing are generating an additional £8m per year in council tax revenue.

Other proposals include extending the opening hours of car parks to bring in an extra £920,000, introduce a premium service for Bulky Bobs to raise £280,000 and invest 1.5m in the city’s Lifestyles fitness centres to attract more users and generate more income.

Rental income from the Cunard building is boosting Liverpool City Council’s coffers

Services hit

Mayor Anderson said: “I have always been clear that my priorities are to protect the most vulnerable in the city and help grow the economy and this budget is aimed at meeting those aims.

“Despite all of the cuts we have faced so far, we’ve continued to spend £12m a year on homeless services and £2.5m on crisis payments for the most vulnerable to help those in crisis pay their rent and council tax.                                                                                                                                      

“There is no doubt that some frontline council services will be significantly reduced and we will have less staff by 2020.

“There will be fewer One Stop Shops and the contact centre won’t be open around the clock. It will take people longer to get a response to requests for some services.

“These are not things that we want to do, but we have no choice, because the Government isn’t listening and as the majority of people who responded to the budget consultation said they wouldn’t support a one-off 10% rise in council tax.”

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