Huge changes for our coun­cil

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active -

SEFTON Coun­cil as we know it is about to change for­ever.

Coun­cil­lors and of­fi­cers are cur­rently work­ing through plans to re­move £64.4mil­lion from the lo­cal au­thor­ity’s bud­get, and how it looks af­ter­wards will be un­recog­nis­able. It is an as­ton­ish­ing sum to com­pre­hend. To set it in con­text, there was huge up­roar three years ago when the coun­cil voted to close seven li­braries across Sefton as part of its bid back then to balance the books. The sav­ings from that move? £400,000. At the time, coun­cil­lors said dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions were be­ing made, but gave as­sur­ances that no front­line ser­vice would be touched.

No such prom­ises are be­ing given this time, but with the huge deficit in fund­ing from cen­tral gov­ern­ment how could they?

Ar­eas of ser­vice which face cuts in fund­ing this time in­clude looked af­ter chil­dren; home­less ser­vices; men­tal health, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence; adult so­cial care; and a whole host of other ar­eas too.

The coun­cil will still be there when it needs to be, it still has statu­tory du­ties it must meet.

But in other ar­eas there is go­ing to be a huge shift to­wards help­ing peo­ple to help them­selves and their fam­ily mem­bers - and fos­ter­ing a greater sense of com­mu­nity and self re­spon­si­bil­ity.

This could range from any­thing such as more peo­ple pick­ing up their own lit­ter, to Friends groups main­tain­ing the ap­pear­ance of lo­cal parks.

How good do we want where we live to be? Af­ter this £64.4m round of cuts, that’s go­ing to be down to us to an­swer.

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