Knowsley Council Facing £17m More in Cuts
(Press release: Knowsley Council)
Residents are being given the opportunity to comment on initial options being considered by Knowsley Council to save £16.8m over the next three years.
The Government’s cuts since 2010 have impacted on Knowsley Council more than any other local authority in the country. Since 2010, the Council has had to make £86m of savings, and it still needs to find a further £16.8m of savings over the next three years.
Once again, the Council has reviewed each and every service it provides to see where savings can be made. Because of the amount of savings already made, we know that this next £17m of cuts are going to be felt by our residents which is why we wanted to be clear about all the possible areas which may be affected.
Given the scale of the funding cuts which are still to come, the Council is now in a position where it simply cannot continue to provide the same levels of service. Whilst every effort continues to be made to protect front-line services, this is becoming increasingly difficult. Many Council services have already been reduced or stopped entirely. The Council’s workforce has been reduced by more than a quarter since 2010 and alternative funding sources have been sought wherever possible. Despite all this, tough decisions will have to be made once again in order to make the necessary savings over the next three years.
There are 140 individual savings options which have been developed by Council service areas. In many cases, there will be an impact on service delivery and implications for residents and Council employees, with around 100 potential job losses.
Amongst the options that could be implemented over the next 3 years, suggestions include:
- Stopping the mobile library service (but continuing the home delivery service)
- Recommission our youth services to focus on targeted services
- Reducing the opening hours of the contact centre and one stop shops, encouraging residents to contact us online instead
- Freeing up resources from the highways maintenance budget
- Reviewing the buildings from which Children’s Centre services are delivered from.
- Reviewing all adult social care packages to ensure that they are tailored very specifically to the individual needs of each person. In some cases, we may be providing services that the person no longer needs – but we also know that in other cases this may highlight services that need to be provided in addition to what the person currently gets.
- Developing Alternative Delivery Models for our Social Care Adults’ Provider Services and our parks
Have Your Say
At this stage, these are just options which Councillors intend to consider. Before any final decisions are made at a full meeting of the Council in March 2017, the Council wants to hear from those who will be affected by the options – a full list of the options will be available on www.knowsley.gov.uk from Friday, 16 December 2016.
Councillor Andy Moorhead, Leader of Knowsley Council, said “The Council does not want to be in this position, and the Government should be ashamed of its continued attacks on the vulnerable people in our communities who most need support from public services. Nevertheless,the cuts are a reality. The Borough has no choice but to manage our way through this challenge as best we can, and with as little disruption as possible to residents who rely on council services. We will do everything we can to continue to protect the services and support which our residents and local communities both need and value. We are encouraging new housebuilding and supporting businesses to relocate and expand in Knowsley. This brings in new funding to the Council and reduces the cuts we have to make. However due to the significant sums of money involved, these further cuts will inevitably have consequences for people in our Borough. No decisions have yet been made, and I encourage everybody to view the options when they go live later this week and let is have views before the closing date of 20 January 2017.”
- Knowsley has been the hardest hit local authority in the Country in terms of Government funding cuts.
- These are only options to be considered and cover a 3 year period. Decisions will not be made until a full Council meeting scheduled for 8March 2017.
- The Council is aiming to set a 3 year budget to help it manage the implementation of the savings which are eventually agreed.
- This consultation exercise is aimed at understanding peoples’ views on the options to be considered. Where detailed consultation with service users on specific savings is necessary, this would also be done prior to implementation.
- The timescales for the budget savings process is outlined below:
- 16 December 2016 – consultation opens to all residents
- 20 January 2017 – consultation closes
- 15 February 2017 – savings options considered by the Council’s Cabinet
- 8 March 2017 – savings options considered by a full meeting of the Council
- From 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2020 – those savings which have been approved will be implemented