Council propose to increase council tax in face of government cuts

St Helens Star: Council leader Barrie Grunewald Council leader Barrie Grunewald

FOLLOWING the latest announcement of government cuts St Helens Council are proposing a two per cent rise in council tax for 2014-15.

Barrie Grunewald says the council is “running on fumes” following the news that there will be further cuts of £25m to the budget over the next two years.

In the face of swingeing cuts imposed by the coalition the council says they have been working to balance the books to continue to provide vital local services.

Between 2010 and 2016 there will be a reduction in grants of 53 per cent amounting to £65m.

A sombre Grunewald said: “The light at the end of the tunnel just gets further away. The latest grant settlement has piled on the misery for St Helens.

“The 2014 figures include a general grant reduction of £10.8 million which equates to a 13 per cent cut. However the 2015-16 is even worse, with cuts of a further £14.1 million meaning that we are looking at an additional 20 per cent reduction.

“The impact on council services will be significant but, as always, we will be ensuring that the most vulnerable members of our community are shielded from the worst effects of the cuts.”

However it means that some services will be reduced as the council looks to make further savings.

The way it delivers services and the way it buys in services have all come under the microscope as it seeks to maximise value for money.

A council spokesperson claims that St Helens residents still enjoy one of the lowest council tax rates both in the North West and across the country.

The rise will mean an extra 30p a week for the average band A household.

A consultation process is underway with residents and stakeholders on the council’s budget proposals, with people able to make their views known through the website sthelens.gov.uk or picking up a special budget questionnaire from their local library.

Comments (19)

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1:08pm Fri 10 Jan 14

And Justice For All says...

You can bet that none of these cuts will be made in council chamber salaries eh! Oh and the catering budget for their meetings of course! I cant honestly think what more this lot can cut back. Refuse is a joke, Youth Services are non existent in the areas that pay their way so sorry Parr et al, your youth projects will have to stop. Eccleston Park, Rainhill and Grange Park etc wont notice a difference as there are no services. Streamlining the management set up at the council surely that'll save us a fortune! Oh and Barrie, please stop blaming the coalition government for this mess, it's Liebours fault in the the first place!
You can bet that none of these cuts will be made in council chamber salaries eh! Oh and the catering budget for their meetings of course! I cant honestly think what more this lot can cut back. Refuse is a joke, Youth Services are non existent in the areas that pay their way so sorry Parr et al, your youth projects will have to stop. Eccleston Park, Rainhill and Grange Park etc wont notice a difference as there are no services. Streamlining the management set up at the council surely that'll save us a fortune! Oh and Barrie, please stop blaming the coalition government for this mess, it's Liebours fault in the the first place! And Justice For All

1:12pm Fri 10 Jan 14

barrie timpson says...

Hear hear.
Hear hear. barrie timpson

1:45pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Sankey says...

Whatever cuts they are not enough I would go for a hundred per cent cut.

Lets do away with the lot of them and be run from Liverpool they could not be worse than this lot. The only thing on grunewalds mind is the move to Shaun woodwards job and his parachuted career plan. Local politics its a sham.

St. Helens and its people are well down the list of priorities after the fiasco of the recycling scheme and others asking for a pay rise out of the hard pressed public is a kick in the teeth too far.
Whatever cuts they are not enough I would go for a hundred per cent cut. Lets do away with the lot of them and be run from Liverpool they could not be worse than this lot. The only thing on grunewalds mind is the move to Shaun woodwards job and his parachuted career plan. Local politics its a sham. St. Helens and its people are well down the list of priorities after the fiasco of the recycling scheme and others asking for a pay rise out of the hard pressed public is a kick in the teeth too far. Sankey

2:42pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Truther2 says...

Try cutting the Salerys of the Scum Three Handed Rats at the top!!!!!!!
Try cutting the Salerys of the Scum Three Handed Rats at the top!!!!!!! Truther2

4:01pm Fri 10 Jan 14

malymarsh says...

Try to withdraw all the councils cash in the foreign banks and investment funds then seeing as its now a rainy day.
Try to withdraw all the councils cash in the foreign banks and investment funds then seeing as its now a rainy day. malymarsh

4:21pm Fri 10 Jan 14

shtelens says...

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-24837087

"Conservative-run county councils are most likely to be considering a rise"
http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-24837087 "Conservative-run county councils are most likely to be considering a rise" shtelens

5:53pm Fri 10 Jan 14

barrie timpson says...

I'm still waiting, in vain , to no where Labour would have made any cuts.
I'm still waiting, in vain , to no where Labour would have made any cuts. barrie timpson

5:57pm Fri 10 Jan 14

barrie timpson says...

"We're running of fumes" Ok lets spend money running a course for "how to look after your bike".
Important first line service.
"We're running of fumes" Ok lets spend money running a course for "how to look after your bike". Important first line service. barrie timpson

9:01pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Keva68 says...

How come in every publicity picture shown of Bazza he is always bigger than the town hall.
How come in every publicity picture shown of Bazza he is always bigger than the town hall. Keva68

9:47pm Fri 10 Jan 14

smith&weston says...

They have the whole of St Helens sorting through their own rubbish and saving them money in the process as we put up with a vastly reduced bin collection service and they talk about an increase in council tax ? They moan about lack of money under the Tories, they moaned about lack of money through ten years of Labour rule....perhaps it's time they owned up to the fact that they couldn't manage the town even if they had unlimited funds.
They have the whole of St Helens sorting through their own rubbish and saving them money in the process as we put up with a vastly reduced bin collection service and they talk about an increase in council tax ? They moan about lack of money under the Tories, they moaned about lack of money through ten years of Labour rule....perhaps it's time they owned up to the fact that they couldn't manage the town even if they had unlimited funds. smith&weston

9:53pm Fri 10 Jan 14

saintsfan says...

I always thought local newspapers existed to report local stories, not act as lobbyists or political campaign material for the council. This council is not running on fumes. It has just purchased a large fleet of shiny new recycling vehicles, plus accompanying paraphinalia, and put in a bid to buy Church Square Shopping Centre, plus let's not forget its plans to turn a local running track into a car park which requires significant funding.

The council should start managing its budget and stop making out that it has no money when clearly it has. All the Council wants to do is raise more money, presumably for its pet projects, and is using the people who were daft enough to reinstate it to make a political point.
I always thought local newspapers existed to report local stories, not act as lobbyists or political campaign material for the council. This council is not running on fumes. It has just purchased a large fleet of shiny new recycling vehicles, plus accompanying paraphinalia, and put in a bid to buy Church Square Shopping Centre, plus let's not forget its plans to turn a local running track into a car park which requires significant funding. The council should start managing its budget and stop making out that it has no money when clearly it has. All the Council wants to do is raise more money, presumably for its pet projects, and is using the people who were daft enough to reinstate it to make a political point. saintsfan

10:43pm Fri 10 Jan 14

smith&weston says...

I see the labour voters have arrived.... negging the posts that dare to criticise their red flag flying over lords.
I see the labour voters have arrived.... negging the posts that dare to criticise their red flag flying over lords. smith&weston

1:13pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Cagcolin says...

Time to set a living budget
Time to set a living budget Cagcolin

11:42pm Sat 11 Jan 14

disillusionedsthelenser says...

It must be due to St Helens becoming an even more desirable place to live in recent years..........
It must be due to St Helens becoming an even more desirable place to live in recent years.......... disillusionedsthelenser

11:43pm Sat 11 Jan 14

disillusionedsthelenser says...

Perhaps it's paying for all those computers in Central Library so that St Helens job-less under 25s (and there's a good number of them) can keep in touch with their mates on Facebook.
Perhaps it's paying for all those computers in Central Library so that St Helens job-less under 25s (and there's a good number of them) can keep in touch with their mates on Facebook. disillusionedsthelenser

4:02pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Sankey says...

Perhaps we are paying a premium for the quality of the leadership ?

Had we not had such powerful minds running the show we would never have had the recycling scheme whichever course is a resounding success.

Why just 2 percent why not 20 per cent ?

See what else they can come up with
Perhaps we are paying a premium for the quality of the leadership ? Had we not had such powerful minds running the show we would never have had the recycling scheme whichever course is a resounding success. Why just 2 percent why not 20 per cent ? See what else they can come up with Sankey

12:24pm Mon 13 Jan 14

anthonywilson says...

Amazing how they can look to raise Council Tax and then find £6 million to invest in the new Parkside Project, not the mention the £1 million spent on new recycling vehicles, money on new tractors for Parks and Gardens spent not so long ago and also reportedly looking to buy Church Square Shopping Centre. St Helens Council living in a world of double speak. Yes I agree that the cuts for local government are harsh on the whole but its also wrong for some Council Officers in another local St Helens newspaper to be making statements which are of a political nature. I thought senior council offiers were meant to be apolitical? Perhaps if they are so "running on fumes" could suggest that they should save some money by reducing the number of Councillors from three to two in every ward and instead of the Mayor riding round in a £35-£40k Range Rover to have a cheaper car but I wouldn't expect Turkeys to be voting for Christmas so soon after the 25th December.
Amazing how they can look to raise Council Tax and then find £6 million to invest in the new Parkside Project, not the mention the £1 million spent on new recycling vehicles, money on new tractors for Parks and Gardens spent not so long ago and also reportedly looking to buy Church Square Shopping Centre. St Helens Council living in a world of double speak. Yes I agree that the cuts for local government are harsh on the whole but its also wrong for some Council Officers in another local St Helens newspaper to be making statements which are of a political nature. I thought senior council offiers were meant to be apolitical? Perhaps if they are so "running on fumes" could suggest that they should save some money by reducing the number of Councillors from three to two in every ward and instead of the Mayor riding round in a £35-£40k Range Rover to have a cheaper car but I wouldn't expect Turkeys to be voting for Christmas so soon after the 25th December. anthonywilson

3:27pm Mon 13 Jan 14

barrie timpson says...

Exactly Anthony.
Exactly Anthony. barrie timpson

11:32pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Les Teeling says...

just for everyones information the figures given to me under the freedom of information stated that as of December they where holding 89 million in reserve and they also have the choice to to borrow a possibility they will not consider
just for everyones information the figures given to me under the freedom of information stated that as of December they where holding 89 million in reserve and they also have the choice to to borrow a possibility they will not consider Les Teeling

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