Sefton Coun­cil is per­form­ing well in pe­riod of aus­ter­ity

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page -

SEFTON Coun­cil is lis­ten­ing to and serv­ing its com­mu­nity well through enor­mous cuts and a ‘chal­leng­ing pe­riod of aus­ter­ity’.

That is the verdict of an in­de­pen­dent re­view car­ried out by coun­cil watch­dog the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion.

The coun­cil will have lost 51% of Gov­ern­ment fund­ing be­tween 2010 and 2020 – a to­tal fund­ing gap of £233m.

Less than two years ago, SMBC was forced to slash scores of jobs and make huge sav­ings across al­most all of its ser­vices to bal­ance its books.

But in­spec­tors have com­mended the au­thor­ity for its ‘ro­bust fi­nan­cial man­age­ment’, and said they were con­sis­tently im­pressed with the com­mit­ted and pas­sion­ate work­force.

The re­port goes on to praise the coun­cil and its part­ners for en­gag­ing with and in­volv­ing peo­ple of all ages and back­grounds, across the bor­ough, to cre­ate a vi­sion for the fu­ture of Sefton.

To con­duct the re­view, an LGA peer team spent more than 300 hours on site in Sefton. They spoke to more than 140 peo­ple, in­clud­ing coun­cil staff, coun­cil­lors and ex­ter­nal stake­hold­ers.

The leader of the coun­cil, Cllr Ian Ma­her, said: “The Peer Re­view pro­vided us with a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for us to show­case Sefton and all the things we have done that we are proud of, de­spite dif­fi­cult fi­nan­cial chal­lenges.

“We are very much a lis­ten­ing coun­cil, with clear am­bi­tions for our com­mu­ni­ties and I’m glad that this has been recog­nised by the team.

“I know I’ve said it be­fore but I must re­it­er­ate how amazed I am by how pas­sion­ate and adapt­able our work­force is de­spite con­stant change and how they con­tinue to strive to pro­vide the best ser­vices they can to our com­mu­ni­ties de­spite these chal­lenges.

“I’m de­lighted that the Peer Re­view team have high­lighted it in their re­port find­ings.

“Their in­de­pen­dent check on how we are do­ings in terms of plan­ning for, and de­liv­er­ing for, the fu­ture has pro­vided us with con­fi­dence that we’re def­i­nitely on the right track.

“Their sug­ges­tions go­ing for­ward will sup­port us our con­tin­u­ous journey of im­prove­ment and will help us de­liver the best ser­vices to lo­cal peo­ple.”

Boo­tle Town Hall: pos­i­tive vibes for the coun­cil in the LGA re­port; inset, Cllr Ian Ma­her

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