St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

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City region households facing council tax rise to fund mayor

People living in Liverpool City Region are facing a higher council tax bill to pay for the running costs of its mayor.

Steve Rotheram
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Mayor Steve Rotheram is proposing a precept which will see most residents paying between £12.67 and £38 a year on top of their existing council tax, depending on which band their property is in.

The bill for his first year as mayor was paid for by the six local authorities of the city region, which cannot afford to repeat the outlay this year.

"In the face of continuing austerity, we cannot expect our six local authorities to carry on funding the combined authority," said Mr Rotheram

St Helens taskforce to tackle crime and disorder

St Helens Council is to tackle crime and disorder in the town centre with a new taskforce.

St Helens

The Joint Advisory Group (JAG) will bring a more “co-ordinated response” to some of the issues impacting people of all ages in the town, Supt Louise Harrison.

She said during an initial meeting, the group has "lots of different organisations and people round the table with some really encouraging views about how we could bring that forward”.

“The initial view was that we look at the town centre specifically... certainly, from ourselves, the night-time economy has caused us some real challenges in terms of how busy it is.”

She added that the group would look to address youth disorder, arson, homelessness and drug use.

Pressure on St Helens services at 'critical level'

Pressures on public services are at a “critical level”, St Helens Council leader Barrie Grunewald has said.

Barrie Grunewald

Writing in a new report, Mr Grunewald said “difficult” decisions will have to be made regarding services the council can afford to provide in the future.

The draft report – which will be discussed by senior councillors in the coming months – sets out the council’s vision for the town until 2020, which include making £13.1m of savings over the next two years.

The council has already proposed axing the ranger service by 2019, with the borough’s library service also facing the threat of cutbacks.

Mr Grunewald said:

We will continue to do all in our power to ensure that the decisions taken have the best interests of local people at heart and that the most vulnerable in our communities continue to be effectively supported and protected.

Although there are uncertainties ahead, we are determined to grasp the opportunities before us and it is fitting in the 150th anniversary of our borough... that we are now also able to look ahead with a growing sense of confidence and aspire to deliver a future vision for St Helens that instills pride amongst us all.