Sefton Council is performing well in period of austerity
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