Members of Halewood Town Council are acutely aware of the financial pressures facing the residents of Halewood which seem to increase with each and every announcement from Central Government.

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (KMBC) themselves have recently publicised details of the funding cuts they have received from Central Government; cuts which Halewood Town Council has also had to bear.

These relentless cuts in public funding such as the scrapping the Council Tax Reduction Scheme Grant have meant that in the four years up to 2017/18 we have faced a cut in funding of almost £48,000 and we already know we will face a further cut of £27,000 in 2018/19. These cuts in Town Council funding have come on top of approximately £30,000 of additional costs every year for services taken over from KMBC, making a ‘funding gap’ of over £100,000.

Nevertheless, the Members of the Town Council are committed to improving its assets and its service to the community. We have recently attracted funding to refurbish Hollies Playground; we are about to embark on a spend of approximately £10,000 upgrading our security systems at both of our Centres and plan to spend a further £6,000 improving audio visual and presentational services at Hollies Hall. In the Arncliffe Sports and Community Centre, Members plan to modernise and improve greatly the kitchen facilities at a cost of almost £90,000.

The sustained nature of cuts and Members’ commitment to protect and improve services leaves the Town Council little option in 2017/18 but to increase the precept by 9%.

Whilst this may sound a large increase, on a Band D property, it equates to an increase of £5.82 per year, a little over 1.5p per day which, in total terms, sees Halewood with the lowest level of Town Council precept in the whole of Knowsley. With much of the housing stock in Halewood below Band D, many households will pay less than this.

The increased income from the precept will help off-set the loss of funding and will enable the Members and staff of the Town Council to continue to provide a high quality service to the residents of the Township.