2020/21 BUDGET STATEMENT
Members of Halewood Town Council are acutely aware of the financial pressures currently facing the residents of Halewood. The year 2020/21, with the unprecedented impact of Covid-19, has undoubtedly added to the pressures on household incomes.
Nevertheless, the Members of the Town Council are committed to improving its assets and its service to the community. Throughout 2020/21, the Town Council has kept the doors of its buildings open, in order to serve the needs of the community and offered a variety of services and activities to support health and well-being. This has included the maintenance of Halewood’s parks and green spaces, VE Day promotions, School Uniform Grants and Recycling, Community Grants (particularly in the lead-up to Christmas) and the facilitation of a Christmas Tree and Festive lighting at the Halewood Centre in addition to other projects undertaken during the Christmas period. The past year has also seen the Town Council work directly with the NHS, enabling them to utilise Hollies Hall for the administering of Flu Jabs and the roll-out Covid-19 Vaccination programme in Halewood.
The sustained nature of financial pressures and Members’ commitment to protect and improve services leaves the Town Council little option in 2021/22 but to increase the precept. This, however, was kept to the minimum possible at 2%. The Tax Base, the figure used to determine Precept income, has been reduced in Halewood from the figures received in April 2020. This meant that income would already be reduced, even if the council put forward a ‘standstill’ precept. The 2% increase broadly covered this reduction in income helping to offset other increased costs i.e. Utilities.
However, whilst this may sound a large increase, on a Band D property, it equates to an increase of £1.69 per year or 3.2p per week. Additionally, 80+% of Halewood households will pay much less, with Band A properties, (making up 38% of the total housing in Halewood) paying an increase of £1.13 per year or 2.1p per week. Residents should also be aware that Halewood’s precept remains the lowest of the four large Town Councils in the borough of Knowsley, and a 2% increase maintains that position.
In total terms, these figures will enable Members and staff of the Town Council to continue to provide much needed services to the residents of the Township, with new and exciting plans to further improve provision and service standards to assist the township of Halewood in its recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic.