The Government only allows councils to increase council tax by up to 3.99 percent, unless a majority of residents vote for a higher amount in a referendum. Would you be in favour of an additional council tax rise of 6% (totalling 10% overall) if it were ringfenced for adults and children’s services?
The law says we must assess vulnerable adults’ needs and either directly provide or commission services if their needs meet a national set of eligibility criteria.
In Liverpool, most of our adult social care services are commissioned from the independent and voluntary sector. One of our legal duties is to monitor the quality of these services to make sure that people are receiving the right support.
Around 15,000 people receive care each year. These services include:
At any one time, we are delivering increasingly complex services to over 8,500 people, over half of whom are aged over 70. Currently, almost 80% of over 65s have one or more long term conditions.
In future, we expect demand for our services to rise further, with an increasing aging population. We project that the number of people aged over 65 will go up by 30% by 2026.
Social work staff, social workers and social care assessors, assess the needs of vulnerable adults and develop care plans, setting out the services that people require to support their needs. We have carried out over 8,000 assessments in the last 12 months in hospitals or the community, and 2710 occupational therapy assessments for disabled or older/frail adults.
Following an assessment, staff commission services from either the council or independent/voluntary providers.
We have a duty to safeguard vulnerable adults and monitor and review care packages to make sure they are fit for purpose and meet people’s needs.
Another important part of the service is Careline, our contact centre, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for all social care enquiries and referrals on vulnerable children, adults and homeless people. Each year Careline receives around 24,000 calls and emails. Of these, 1355 calls are regarding concerns about vulnerable adults.
The law says that the council must take action to protect the most vulnerable children in the city and keep them safe from harm. Our Children and Young Peoples Social Care service provides that statutory duty and also supports the work of the independently chaired, multi-agency Liverpool Safeguarding Children Board.
There are around 90,000 children in the city. Of this number 377 children are subject to a child protection plan (this is a plan to keep a child who is being abused, or is at risk of significant harm safe); there are 3,566 ‘children in need’ cases and 1,099 children who are ‘looked after’ by the council.
The services we provide include:
As a city with high levels of deprivation, there are increasing demands on our children’s social care services. For example, the number of children in care is up by 18% since 2010. Our social care staff work with schools and other agencies to support children in care and deliver or commission services to meet their needs
The council provides a range of specialist support services and employs staff to ensure children are supported in school and other early years settings (e.g. Children’s Centres and Nurseries), from Occupational Therapists, speech and language therapy to Education Psychology services.
We support children with special educational needs and disabilities to attend school and make progress and help those pupils with very challenging behaviour to prevent them being excluded from schools, or to provide alternative places to learn if they have already been excluded. Last year, we carried out early help assessments for over 2,000 children to help understand the child’s needs and how we could support them and around 860 children received help and support from our children’s Occupational Therapists.
The Council also provides a network of Children’s Centres which bring together a range of free services for children from birth to five, and their families including child and family health advice, family support and a range of parent and toddler activities. Over 21,000 families accessed our Children’s Centres in 2015/16.
Finally, a small team of staff oversee the school admissions process for primary and secondary schools in the city, managing the demand for and parental choice of school place for their children.
Liverpool has 19 libraries, an Archive Service and a home delivery service for disabled and isolated customers. The service aims to promote reading and learning and give access to information and computers.
Joining a library is free. The council offers a wide range of online services through its Read Liverpool e-books and e-magazine service, which are free to members.
To save money, we have co-located two of our libraries within our One Stop Shops, while five of our community libraries are run independently of the council, four by community organisations and one by Merseycare NHS Trust.
Last year, over 1,000,000 books were borrowed from our libraries by over 195,000 customers. We also hosted 455,000 computer sessions, 1.6 million visits and 55,000 downloads of our ‘e-books’.
By law, the council has to provide a ‘comprehensive and efficient’ library service.
This department is made up of Environmental Health, Licensing, Trading Standards, CCTV/City Watch, Port Health and Emergency Planning. Many of these services are statutory, meaning we have to provide them by law.
Environment Health covers Health and Safety at Work, Food Safety, Pollution Control, Private Housing Disrepair and Pest Control. Every year we receive 10,000 requests for help to do with housing issues, food hygiene and noisy neighbours and 12,000 calls to Pest Control. We are responsible for inspecting around 3,800 food businesses.
Trading Standards investigate fraud and deception against consumers and businesses. They also investigate complaints about unfair trading.
Licensing makes sure licensing standards are met in clubs, pubs, restaurants, private hire taxis and street trading.
City Watch operate over 370 CCTV cameras, monitoring public spaces and helping the police keep the city’s residents safe.
Our officers support councillors and local communities to create clean, safe and well managed communities.
They resolve issues like littering, dog fouling, fly-tipping and passageway dumping etc, involving other council services and external partners, for example Police, where necessary.
Last year, Neighbourhood Services received 10,000 reports about fly-tipping and removed over 10,000 tonnes of fly-tipped waste, had over 5,000 reports of passageway dumping and received over 1,000 complaints about litter and street cleaning.
We manage 800 hectares of parks, recreation grounds, playgrounds, and open spaces across the city in partnership with Glendale-Liverpool Ltd and Liverpool Streetscene Services Ltd.
Together they provide important space for leisure and relaxation, host sporting and cultural events and offer playgrounds and other facilities like fitness trails, which encourage people to exercise and improve their health and wellbeing. This year so far, there have been 180 events in our parks.
Two of our parks, Sefton and Stanley, hold ‘green flags’ – a national award for well managed parks. The Council is working to identify opportunities to increase income from events, concessions and other commercial activity in parks to help offset the costs of operating them.
The council works with partners to build safer and stronger communities by preventing and reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, and supporting local communities and the victims of crime.
We have a statutory duty (required by law) to lead on bringing public sector agencies like the police, fire service, health and voluntary organisations together in this work. This partnership is called ‘Citysafe’.
We also provide grants to community organisations to help bring communities together.
In 2015/16, through the partnership, over 1000 victims of domestic violence were supported; over 1000 complaints on anti-social behavior and hate crime were dealt with and over 40 organisations were funded to provide services and advice in their local communities, benefitting over 110,000 people.
The council offers affordable and accessible facilities for sport and exercise though its 10 Lifestyles centres and swimming pools.
Our centres have 16,000 members and receive on average three million visits per year.
The service also delivers sports development and major sports events. We work closely with partners in health, local community organisations, voluntary sports clubs, schools and a wide range of other partners.
Getting Liverpool residents active and involved in exercise is important. The impact of physical inactivity costs the NHS in Liverpool around £10 million. Our ambition is to make Liverpool the most active city by 2021.
The budget for this area covers bin collections, recycling and garden waste collections, street and passageway cleaning, graffiti, weed and fly-posting removal.
We collect waste from over 160,000 households every fortnight, and a further 50,000 households every week.
We currently recycle or compost around 30% of the city’s waste – or 45,000 tonnes. If – with your help – we reach the target of 50% of waste recycled by 2020, we will save £6.9 million in landfill charges.
This year, we set up our own company to carry out street cleaning and bin collections, after ending a contract with a private provider. Liverpool Streetscene Services Ltd has received 500 requests to clear graffiti, 2,800 requests for street cleaning and 1,190 reports of dog fouling to date.
Finally, the free to use ‘Bulky Bob’ household waste collection service carries out around 52,000 collections every year.
The service has a statutory duty (required by law) to supervise young people who have offended, both in the community and in custody and to offer a service to the victims of young offenders.
We also offer support to young people who are at risk of offending and those involved in, or at risk of, Child Sexual Exploitation.
We work with the voluntary sector, communities and other partners to run a range of activities for young people, including employment, training and volunteering. We offer grants and our employees’ time to a range of voluntary youth organisations.
Our Youth Offending staff supported over 300 young people and their families last year, while over 200 young people received ‘prevention services’. We provided over 60 youth organisations with a grant, benefitting over 45,000 young people.
The council has a Contact Centre, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and a network of eight One Stop Shops, one in the city centre and the rest in our neighbourhoods.
The Contact Centre deals with over 1.4 million calls and over 120,000 emails per year from the public with queries ranging from benefits to parking, street lighting to bins. One Stop Shops receive more than 265,000 visits each year from customers needing help.
Using our website, liverpool.gov.uk, to get information or make payments. It is 20 times cheaper than phoning us, 30 times cheaper than writing to us and 50 times cheaper than popping into a One Stop Shop.
So we are working hard to make more of our services available on our website. But we understand that not everyone can access services online, for a number of reasons, which is why we offer different ways of contacting us through the One Stop Shops and Contact Centre. We will be doing more in future to support customers in our One Stop Shops to do things online.
The council has a statutory duty (required by law) to improve and protect the health of the 478,580 people who live in Liverpool.
Public Health Service leads on this work, looking at strategies for getting the best results from the resources we have and commissioning services to encourage healthier lifestyles and to protect the health of the city’s residents.
The services we commission include: stop smoking, sexual health, services aimed at reducing drug and alcohol misuse, school nurses and health visitors, healthy heart checks, weight management and workplace health schemes.
Over 70% of the city’s population used or were impacted by Public Health funded services last year. For instance, we provided stop smoking sessions to over 6,000 people and supported over 3,200 to quit. We funded over 22,000 visits to children and families by health visitors. And almost 9,000 people used services for drugs or alcohol addiction.
This work is important as Liverpool has a number of serious health challenges. For instance, residents have the lowest life expectancy in England and live four years less than the national average. There are large differences in life expectancy between poorer and richer areas of the city and in differential e.g. life expectancy can vary by up to 10 years.
Through our Adult Learning and Liverpool in Work services, we support local residents to gain new skills and get a job, move onto a better job or gain new qualifications.
We deliver a wide range of adult learning courses to residents aged over 19. We provide local people with access to education and training, including interview skills, paid work experience and support with job applications/CVs. And we help job seekers and learners who need support around basic skills and confidence, or help with childcare and travel costs in order to get a job.
Over a two year period, we’ve supported over 1700 unemployed young people aged 18-24, helping 468 directly in to work.
In the last year, over 8000 people have taken part in adult learning.
Doing what we can to support people into work or improve their skills is vital to improving the city’s economy and improving people’s lives. The latest figures on Liverpool residents claiming out of work benefits are 48,000 - which is almost 15% of the city’s population, and 6% higher than the national average. While the employment rate in Liverpool is 61%, 13% lower than the national average of 74%.
The council’s major events have attracted more than 750,000 people so far this year, pumping more than £30 million into the local economy.
As well as running our own events, we fund and support Liverpool’s major cultural organisations, theatres, festivals and community arts. This year we distributed £2.7 million to over 30 cultural organisations, safeguarding 1000 jobs and bringing a further £35 million into the city’s economy.
Our small Film Office provides a service to TV and film companies. So far this year they have supported 250 film and TV projects, resulting in over 800 days of filming in the city and bringing £11 million of investment to the local economy. Companies have to pay for things like street cleaning and road closures, which made us over £460,000 last year.
The budget for this area also covers Liverpool Town Hall and St George’s Hall. We hold weddings and events in both halls to make money. For example, St George’s Hall and Town Hall have had over a million visitors this year, bringing in £1.4 million.
Our major events, like the Liverpool International Music Festival and the International Mersey River Festival, combined with the city’s vibrant cultural scene have propelled Liverpool to fourth most visited city in the UK by overseas visitors.
The council helps the city’s economy to grow by offering a range of services - including working with developers to secure deliverable planning consent, facilitating compulsory purchase order where appropriate and supporting public sector grant funding and loan opportunities - which promote investment totaling over £1 billion per annum and which support major projects in the city.
We work hard to:
Since January 2016 we have supported 125 major projects worth nearly £800 million. We have a further 250 major projects in the pipeline which have the potential to unlock £10.5 billion of investment and create at least 20,000 new jobs in a range of sectors including industrial/warehousing, office, retail and leisure and health.
Liverpool needs at least 1,500 new houses every year to keep up with demand and ensure there are enough houses for people to live in. Without them, rents and house prices will rise and homelessness could increase.
Although the council no longer provides council houses, we work with housing partnerships to provide opportunities for new homes to be built. This way, over 5,000 new homes have been built over the past five years.
We also bring empty properties back into use and stop empty properties causing problems. Over the last five years, we have brought over 3,000 empty homes back into use.
We help people to look after their homes, make them more energy efficient and avoid fuel poverty (when people cannot afford to heat their homes). Around 31,000 households are currently in fuel poverty and, as energy prices continue to rise faster than wages, these numbers are likely to go up further.
We provide adaptations to allow disabled people to live independently. We currently provide funding for around 460 adaptations per year, but as the population continues to age, demand will rise.
Finally, we provide access to housing for people in need or at risk of homelessness. There has been a 26% increase in the number of people at risk of homelessness asking for our help in the last five years. With the implementation of the Government’s benefits cap, this number is likely to continue rising and this will place more pressure on the council’s budget.
Planning and Building Control regulate the development and use of land.
We consider planning appeals and applications for new buildings and extensions/alterations. We take action to tackle breaches of planning permission.
Last year, we dealt with a record number of planning applications - over 3,500. Making decisions on applications quickly is important, as delays could affect the confidence of businesses and investors and lead them to build/invest elsewhere.
Our Building Control team gives advice on planning and people’s proposals. Public safety is an important part of the job, by ensuring new buildings are safely constructed. We inspect property and ensure it is built to the correct standards. We respond to reports of dangerous buildings and carry out work to make them safe. As the city grows, so does the demand for our services.
We also protect historic buildings and conservation areas. The number of important historical buildings ‘at risk’ is at a 25 year low.
The council does a lot of work to support tourism - a key economic sector which generates £4 billion and supports over 50,000 jobs in the city.
Our three Tourist Information Centres have dealt with 200,000 customers so far this year.
While the council-owned Liverpool Cruise Terminal welcomed 63 cruise ships and 114,000 passengers and crew, worth around £7 million to the city’s economy. We are expecting even more visitors and cruise calls next year.
We are responsible, with our partners AMEY, for maintaining over 1,550 km of roads, 58,000 street lights, 480 traffic signals, as well as bridges, footways, verges, traffic signs and bollards.
We carry out emergency repairs of potholes and broken paving, grit 401 km of roads, cut grass, prune trees, repair broken lights and keep roads draining well.
The budget covers road safety training and School Crossing Patrols, promoting cycling/walking and dealing with issues such as rat running, speeding and parking problems.
We give advice to developers and planning colleagues to ensure new developments take the impact on roads into account. We monitor and check work by others (developers, utility companies etc) on the roads to ensure it is done safely and with the minimum of disruption.
The Service is responsible for collecting council tax and business rates, recovering debts and administering benefits like housing and free schools meals. We collect council tax from over 222,000 households and business rates from over 18,000 businesses.
We provide housing benefit and council tax support to around 70,000 households. Council tax support is funded by the council at a cost of £56 million. We also offer the ‘Liverpool Citizens Support Scheme’ for the most hard pressed households, with 12,000 crisis payments, totaling £2.5 million, given to help people with food, fuel, clothing and furniture.
We have also made £2 million worth of ‘discretionary’ housing payments (i.e. we don’t have to provide them, we choose to) to 8,700 people affected by welfare reform and hardship.
Liverpool Registry Office is responsible for registering births, deaths and marriages and conducting Citizenship ceremonies. The Service deals with 8,500 births, 6,000 deaths and 3,000 marriages per year.
HM Coroner’s Court provides support to HM Coroner for Liverpool and Wirral. 750 inquests were opened last year by the Coroner.
Electoral Services is responsible for ensuring that all elections are run effectively and in line with the law, that an up-to-date and accurate register is maintained and published so anybody entitled to vote can do so.