guide explaining how your Council Tax is spent for a breakdown of where Sefton Council spends its budget and your Council Tax. ">

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How your Council Tax is spent

How your Council Tax is spent

Sefton Council has set a net budget before non-specific Government Grants of £330,338,083 (excluding Parishes) for 2024/2025. This is £14.6m more than the budget for 2023/2024. However, this is partly due to the net impact of changes in Business Rates Section 31 Grants brought and carried forward to offset declared deficits of -£11.6m. Excluding this the net budget has increased by £26.2m. The analysis of the Council Tax Requirement and Budget Requirement is provided below:

Sefton MBC Budget Requirement





Gross Expenditure on Council Services 661.3 673.4
Gross Expenditure by Levying Bodies 36.2 37.3
Total Gross Expenditure 697.5 710.7
Total Gross Income -381.7 -380.3
Sefton Budget Requirement before non-specific Government Grants (Note 1) 315.8 330.4
Non-Specific Government Grants -60.7 -71.9
General Balances - Increase 4.4 14.0
Sefton Budget Requirement 259.5 272.5
Less: General Government Grant -23.9 -26.2
Less: Retained Business Rates Income -62.4 -65.7
Less: Business Rates Surplus (-) / Deficit -12.7 -11.0
Less: Collection Fund Surplus – Council Tax -1.7 -1.3
Sefton Council Tax Requirement 158.8  168.3
Council Tax (Band C)
£1,647.91 £1,730.14

Note 1: The table below highlights the major variances in the Budget Requirement (before non-specific Government Grants) between 2023/2024 and 2024/2025:

  £m £m
Pay and Price Inflation Contingency       9.1
Additional Resources to Maintain and Improve Services    
Additional Resources relating to Service Pressures - Social Care 16.9  
Additional Resources relating to Service Pressures – Other Services  2.9   
Increase in Levies   1.1
Net Savings / Efficiency Measures   -3.8
Net impact of changes in Business Rates Section 31 Grants brought and carried forward to offset declared deficits   11.6
Change in Sefton Budget Requirement   14.6

Your Council Tax Explained

Your Council Tax explained (pdf 1.44MB)

Sefton Council's Revenue Budget

View Sefton's Analysis of General Fund Expenditure & Income for 2024/2025 for more details.

Sefton's Estimated Balances

Sefton’s general revenue balances are estimated to be £16.4m as at 31 March 2024. The 2024/2025 Budget assumes general balances will be increased by £14.0m. This excludes reserves held by schools; these are estimated to be £13m as at 31 March 2024.

Capital Investment Plan 2024/2025 - 2026/2027

The Council's Capital Investment Plan for 2024/2025 – 2026/2027 currently totals £193.4m, including some indicative grant allocations, and is funded primarily from Central Government Allocations, Specific Capital Grants, Capital Receipts and Council Borrowing.  The Plan includes schemes for the Marine Lake Event Centre (£62.9m), the Strand – Repurposing Programme (£20.0m), Other Strategic Investment (£8.3m), Adult Social Care (£19.0m), Highways and Public Protection (£41.8m) and Education Excellence (£20.4m). It should be noted that any resources identified as unspent in 2023/2024 at the year-end will slip into 2024/2025 and additional resources may yet be allocated to new schemes in 2024/2025 and future years.

Precepting Bodies

Environment Agency (North West Region) 

The Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) Regulations 2011

The Environment Agency is a levying body for its Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Functions under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and the Environment Agency (Levies) (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.

The Environment Agency has powers in respect of flood and coastal erosion risk management for 6500 kilometres of main river and along tidal and sea defences in the area of the North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. Money is spent on the construction of new flood defence schemes, the maintenance of the river system and existing flood defences together with the operation of a flood warning system and management of the risk of coastal erosion. The financial details are:


North West Regional
Flood and Coastal Committee






Gross Expenditure £104,636 £131,143
Levies Raised £4,412 £4,544
Total Council Tax Base £2,248 £2,278

The majority of funding for flood defence comes directly from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). However, under the new Partnership Funding rule not all schemes will attract full central funding. To provide local funding for local priorities and contributions for partnership funding the Regional Flood and Coastal Committees recommend through the Environment Agency a local levy.

A change in the gross budgeted expenditure between years reflects the programme of works for both capital and revenue needed by the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee to which you contribute. The total Local Levy raised by this committee has increased by 3.0%.

The total Local Levy raised has increased from £4,411,893 in 2023/2024 to £4,544,250 for 2024/2025.

Customer Service Line: 03708 506 506
Incident Hotline: 0800 80 70 60
Floodline: 0345 988 1188

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA)

We are the public body responsible for dealing with household waste and recycling once it’s been collected from your home.

We work hard to encourage Merseyside’s householders to use less in the first place and, through our 16 Household Waste Recycling Centres and District Council kerbside collections, to recycle as much as they can.

Using the latest technology, we aim to make sure as much waste as possible is sustainably managed. Our Energy from Waste facility in Wilton diverts the majority of Merseyside’s non-recycled waste from landfill, whilst our two Materials Recovery Facilities sort and separate recycled materials where they then go on be processed into new items.

Last year, 34.7% of Merseyside’s household waste was reused, recycled, and composted. Recycling, alongside our waste prevention work and involvement with community projects, can help us all contribute to cutting waste levels and fighting climate change.

You can read more about our work at

Financial Summary






Total Net Expenditure 82.373 84.409
Contribution to reserves 0 0
Total requirement 82.373 84.409
Use of Reserves -3.480 -2.558
Levy 78.893 81.851
Levy per head (Merseyside)  £55.43 £57.51

The Levy for Sefton Council for 2024-25 will be £16,510,438.

For more information contact:

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority
7th Floor
No.1 Mann Island
L3 1BP

Tel: 0151 255 1444
Web: / /

Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner 

Setting a balanced budget is one of my most important responsibilities. It is my job to ensure Merseyside Police has the money it needs to keep our communities safe and is in the strongest possible position for the year ahead. 

The financial position of Merseyside Police remains extremely challenging and has again required careful financial planning and some difficult decisions to be made to balance the budget, whilst protecting our police service. 

While I was extremely reluctant to ask taxpayers to contribute a little extra to support the police service, I am grateful to have had the unanimous support of the body which scrutinises my work, the Police and Crime Panel to increase the Council Tax precept. 

Even with increasing the Council Tax precept there continues to be a significant budget gap. To bridge this gap, the Chief Constable has agreed to make savings and I plan to utilise reserves and one-off funding to balance the remaining budget. Setting a balanced budget in this way will protect the police service during 2024/25, ensuring that police officer numbers are protected. Despite all of this, further savings will need to be made in future years if additional funding cannot be secured. 

Despite protecting police officer numbers, Merseyside Police is still 450 officers short of the number it had in 2010, before the Government’s austerity programme. 

I am focused on doing everything possible to help protect Merseyside Police and to get it back to its former strength. I promise I will continue to lobby Ministers at every chance I get to provide the funding for those missing officers. 

I have already secured nearly £11m of extra funding for the year ahead to support victims of crime, to assist Merseyside Police in reducing Anti-Social Behaviour in hotspots in our region, to continue the important work of the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership and to deliver Safer Street projects in Liverpool, St Helens, and Prescot Town Centres in partnership with the Local Authorities. I will continue this work to secure extra funding and grants for our region wherever possible. 

I will also hold the Chief Constable to account to ensure we maximise every penny of the budget  delivering on the shared priorities set out in my Police and Crime Plan to keep you safe. 

Thank you for playing a vital role in helping us to protect our police service.

Emily Spurrell
Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside

Police and Crime Commissioner Budget

How the money is spent:

Description 2023/24 2024/25
  £m £m
Police Officer Pay 195.914 221.466
Police Pensions 58.073 69.219
Police Staff Pay 83.984 92.411
Police Staff Pensions 11.200 14.611
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner 1.539 1.650
PCC Controlled Expenditure 9.831 12.184
Other 72.582  60.722
Gross Expenditure 433.123 472.262

How our spending has changed:

Gross Expenditure 2023/24 433.123
Allowance for Pay Inflation 16.370
Full Year Effect of 2023 pay award above original budget 8.750
Allowance for Price Inflation 1.980
Impact of Price Inflation above 2023/24 Budget 0.407
Net Committed Growth (Savings) 2.407
Additional Police Pension Costs 9.225
Gross Expenditure 2024/25 472.262

Where the money comes from:

Source  2023/24 2024/25
  £m £m
Police General Grant (287.568) (304.702)
Council Tax Grants (15.641) (15.641)
Council Tax Requirement (97.737) (103.292)
Collection Fund Deficit / (Surplus) (0.368) (0.180)
    Specific Government Grants      (23.433) (42.249)
Income (3.172) (3.132)
Net Contribution to/(from) Reserves (5.204) (3.425)
Total Funding (433.123) (472.262)

Why has Council Tax changed?

Council Tax Requirement 2023/24 (97.737)
Increase in Tax base (0.487)
Increase in Band D Equivalent (5.068)
Council Tax Requirement 2024/25 (103.292)
2023/24   2024/25

Tax Base

£251.97  Band D Equivalent £264.97
£15.00 Increase in Band D Equivalent £13.00


Phone: 0151 777 5155


Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

Precept Information 2024-2025

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority has again been judged as ‘Outstanding’ in its use of resources by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in 2023.

Once again, the Authority has set its budget in response to all foreseeable risk from fire and other emergencies, particularly the Service’s ability to respond to large, complex and/or protracted incidents. The Authority’s budget will also enhance its protection (fire safety) services in the light of the Grenfell Tower fire, and towards those most at risk to fire through its ‘Outstanding’ prevention activity.

The Authority has delivered significant re-investment into the frontline since 2018, secured through prudent financial management and by staffing its fire stations to meet demand. In its Community Risk Management Plan for 2024/27, the Authority is proposing to invest in the Service again in 2024/2025 which will result in further increases in fire engine availability from 32 to 34, along with technical developments that improve response times, increase investment in specialist clothing, training and equipment and enhancements in areas directly related to firefighter safety. The Authority’s capital programme means we can invest £36m in the Service’s infrastructure by 2028/2029, and this will ensure firefighters have the best equipment to respond to a variety of risks to keep Merseyside communities safe.

The ongoing investment the Authority has made in the Service and the benefits this brings to Merseyside communities, were reflected in the last HMICFRS inspection report. The Service was congratulated on its performance in keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks. HMICFRS graded the Service as ‘outstanding’ in three areas, ‘good’ in five areas and ‘adequate’ in three areas. Meaning it is currently highest performing fire & rescue service in England.

How The Money Is Spent

Approximately 72.8% of the Authority’s 2024/2025 budget remains committed to delivering emergency response; plus services that help us prevent and prepare for emergencies and carry out our legal responsibilities relating to fire safety. We also know through consultation, that the public support our priorities. The costs associated with funding capital investment account for 12.3% of the Authority’s budget and this relates to investment in frontline activities such as fire stations, fire engines and operational equipment. The remaining 14.9% is spent on support services, of which a significant proportion relates to essential frontline service support such as insurance of vehicles and premises, the vehicle maintenance workshop, and ICT costs.

Chart to show how the money is spent

How We Are Funded

The Authority’s 2024/2025 Gross Budget is £87.9m and the graph below outlines how this is funded.

Merseyfire chart

Council Tax Charge

The Council Tax for a Band D property has been set at:



Council Tax (Band D)

Gross Budget £87.922  
Income & specific Grants -£14.163  
Net Use of Reserves £0.432  
Net Budget Requirement £74.191  

Government Settlement Funding (less Local Business Rates Adjustment)


Council Tax/Business Rates Collection Fund Surplus
Council Tax Requirement £35.571  
Tax-base   £389,826.08
Band D Equivalent   £91.25














The Authority set a Council Tax requirement of £35.571m for 2024/2025 and a Council Tax for a Band D property of £91.25, a 2.98% increase on the 2023/2024 figure of £88.61. By increasing the council tax charge, it allows the Authority to maintain the investment in frontline services and fund the further investment planned in 2024/2025. Most council taxpayers in Merseyside will pay Band A Council Tax of £60.83 about
17p per day towards their Fire and Rescue Service.

The Authority has issued a precept on the five Merseyside District Councils of £35.571m, Sefton’s contribution to expenditure financed by precept is £7.889m, which represents 22.18% of the total precept.

Contact the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

Mike Rea, B.A. (Hons), ACMA. 
Director of Finance and Procurement
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority
Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters,
Bridle Road, Bootle
Liverpool, L30 4YD

Telephone: 0151 296 4000

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor & Combined Authority

Since 2014, Sefton has been a member of the Liverpool City Region. So, what does this mean for you?

It means that residents can reap the benefits of devolved local leadership – capturing opportunities that may previously have been out of reach and accessing funding only obtainable to areas with Combined Authority status.

Steve Rotheram is the Mayor of the Liverpool City Region. Since he was elected in 2017, he has been committed to building a fairer, more equal future for the 1.6 million people who call our area home, where no one is left behind.

In what has been an incredibly challenging year for many households, Mayor Rotheram has made it his priority to ensure that families in our area feel protected from the worst impacts of the cost-of-living crisis.

Putting our residents first, the Mayor is freezing the Mayoral precept for the fifth year running so that households in Sefton will continue to pay the lowest rates in the country. In accordance with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s (Finance) Order 2017, the Mayor is seeking to set a precept for 2024/25 of £19 per Band D property. Most council tax payers across the city region will pay a Band A Council Tax rate of £12.67 per year – around £1.05 per month.

From the Mayor’s Young Person’s Guarantee, which promises all of our young people a job, training or apprenticeship, to Housing First, a radical new approach to helping the homeless, we are leading the way in building a fairer, more inclusive local economy.

To date thousands of our most vulnerable families have been helped to save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills as a result of the Mayor Rotheram’s £105m retrofitting programme – with many families in Bootle, Crosby and Thornton given a chance to get on the property ladder in quality, affordable homes through his Brownfield Land Fund. Sefton will build its first new council homes in 18 years, located in Netherton, with the support of a £1m investment from the Combined Authority.

The Mayor’s interventions have created tens of thousands of jobs and apprenticeships, including the £18m awarded to the new Southport Marine Lake Events Centre and £3m towards Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre. More than £50m has also been invested in local schools and colleges, including Hugh Baird and Southport College. Hundreds of long-term unemployed people have also been supported through our Households into Work programme.

The Mayor is well on the way to building an integrated London-style public transport network that makes it cheaper, faster, cleaner and more reliable to get around – starting with the cost of a single adult bus journey being cut to just £2 until 2025 and unlimited bus travel for under 18s capped at £2.20.

Liverpool City Region residents also benefit from one of the most generous concessionary travel schemes in the country. Residents are entitled to receive their travel passes when they turn 60 – a full seven years ahead of the national scheme. There are also discount schemes that help young people, apprentices and people with disabilities to benefit from fare reductions or to travel for free.

Last year the Mayor made the historic decision to take back control of the region’s bus network, which will give local leaders greater say over fares, routes and timetables. There has also been a multi-million pound investment in new publicly-owned hydrogen buses and £500m publicly-owned state-of-the art trains – which are being rolled out on the Southport and Ormskirk lines.

Sefton was home to the first new Merseyrail station in more than 20 years, Maghull North, as part of the Mayor’s Merseyrail for All pledge to connect historically underserved areas to the rest of our transport network. More than £70m has also been invested in active travel infrastructure across the region – including the £1m Maghull to Kirkby cycling route.

Ensuring the next generation inherits a greener, cleaner Liverpool City Region is a key priority for the Mayor – under his plans, we will hit net zero carbon by 2040 at the latest, at least a decade before national government targets. Our pioneering work on Mersey Tidal Power, which has the potential to generate enough renewable energy to power 1m homes and create thousands of local jobs and training opportunities, will have a big role to play in helping our city region hit its targets.






231,186 Gross Expenditure 241,908
(116,655) Income and Specific Grants (121,817)
(102,283) Income from Levy (105,300)
(4,190) Contributions from Reserves (6,694)
8,058 Council Tax Requirement 8,098
424,133 Tax Base 426,235
19.00 Band D Equivalent 19.00

The movement in the gross expenditure budget is detailed below.

Gross Expenditure 2023/24 231,186
Net Change in Revenue Grant Funded Activity 5,499
Increase in Net Debt Servicing Cost 24/25 1,832
Removal of 2023/24 specific items -638
Employee Related Costs 3,396
Non - Pay Inflationary Increases 4,170
Additional Net Savings -3,535
Gross Expenditure 2024/25 241,908

For more information, visit

Transport Funding

The LCRCA’s transport responsibilities are funded through transport levies across each of the six councils. This funds concessionary travel, subsidised bus services, the Mersey Ferries and a range of other services.

The transport levy 2023/24 for each of the Merseyside Councils within the LCRCA is:


Transport Levy



Transport Levy


Knowsley 10,563 11,138
Liverpool 34,669 34,821
Sefton 19,111 20,102
St Helens 12,545 13,180
Wirral 22,464 23,042
Total 99,352 102,283

Please note that, for historical and legal reasons, Halton Borough Council currently provide transport activities directly within the boundaries of the borough of Halton.

This is funded through a differential transport levy collected by Halton on behalf of the LCRCA which will be £3.3m for 2023/24.

Mayor Steve Rotheram
Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

Mr John Fogarty, B.A. Hons, C.P.F.A.
Executive Director of Corporate Services: Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Last Updated on Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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