Liverpool City Council has today published budget proposals to put it on a stable financial footing for the next three years.
The proposals are focused on enabling the council to deliver modern and innovative services that will lead to better outcomes for residents.
The options on the table are a mix of savings, income generation and transformation of services, to balance the books and close the £73 million budget gap.
The proposals include:
Income generation – upping the Council Tax collection rate; improving the efficiency of council procurement of contracts; increased rents for council buildings/assets; increasing some charges; extending the times of operation for on-street/council car parks.
Transforming services – a new model of assessment and care in Adult Services to strip out duplication; reducing reliance on B&Bs for people who find themselves homeless and the introduction of an early help and safeguarding model to support families in Children’s Services, reducing the number of children coming into care and placing fewer children in residential children’s homes.
Savings – reviewing libraries and Lifestyles Fitness Centres; slimming down the cultural programme and funding for arts/culture grants; finding an operator to run the Cruise Liner Terminal and reducing the amount spent on the council’s welfare support schemes.
The budget proposals will be considered by the Cabinet on Thursday 24 November, following which there will be engagement with residents, stakeholders and staff.
A final set of proposals will be agreed in the new year, for consideration at a Budget Council meeting in March 2023.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said: “This has been the toughest budget options process that we have ever been through.
“We are going to have to make some extremely difficult decisions to deliver a legal and balanced budget.
“I recognise that any proposed reduction in services will impact on residents, but we have to maximise the impact of the limited resources we have and make sure every pound of our spending is making a difference.
“Delivering best value and social value for our residents has to be at the heart of everything we do.”
Theresa Grant, Interim Chief Executive, said: “Residents have told us what they want from their council – better local services and a council that provides value for money.
“We need to make wholesale changes to deliver this within the budget we have available to us, particularly with the squeeze on public spending and rising costs.
“Continuing as we are is not an option, if we are to deliver best value for residents and improve local services.
“Our proposals will make the council fit for purpose and give it a sustainable future and most importantly, enable us to deliver better services and focus on what matters most to residents.”