A guide to Council Tax and Business Rates 2015/2016 - Your Services, Your Halton - www.halton.gov.uk

 
 
A guide to Council Tax and Business Rates 2015/2016 - Your Services, Your Halton - www.halton.gov.uk
Your Services, Your Halton

A guide to Council Tax and Business Rates
2015/2016

www.halton.gov.uk

                                            1
A guide to Council Tax and Business Rates 2015/2016 - Your Services, Your Halton - www.halton.gov.uk
Working efficiently for you                                                                                    About this leaflet
    Over recent years Halton has faced unprecedented and unfair levels of cuts to its budget. This year, the       This leaflet contains important information about your Council Tax bill, how your money is spent, what your
    grant the Council receives from the Government will be reduced by a further £11million - a cut of £87 for      bill is for the coming year and different ways to pay.
    every person living in Halton.
                                                                                                                   The amount of Council Tax you pay depends on:
    Since the current Government came to power, Halton has suffered a £46million or 45% loss in Government              · The value of your property based on values at 1 April 1991; and
    funding. We only have to think about how difficult it would be to cope if our own incomes were cut by nearly        · Your personal circumstances
    a half, to appreciate the problem the Council faces.
                                                                                                                   For a property that is in Band D (a ‘typical’ property    Details of how properties are ‘banded’ are shown
    This year, in preparing the budget we have been faced with the daunting task of finding savings of a           for the UK) the tax is £1430.70 made up of the            below. A full table of tax for each type of property
    staggering £19m – this is on top of £15m last year.                                                            following:                                                and parish is below.

    Finding savings of this magnitude cannot be done without any pain, and some unpleasant choices have                                                                      Range of valuation bands
                                                                                                                   Halton Borough Council charge              £1204.01
    had to be made. However, we have taken these decisions with the key aim of protecting the front line                                                                     Band
                                                                                                                   Police Authority charge                     £156.23
    services that support the most vulnerable in our community.                                                                                                              A           Up to and including £ 40,000
                                                                                                                   Fire Authority charge                        £70.46
                                                                                                                   Total                                      £1430.70       B           £40,001 - £ 52,000
    Nonetheless, under the pressure of the cuts forced upon us, we have had to take the decision to increase                                                                 C           £52,001 - £ 68,000
    Council Tax by 1.9%. We know that this places further burden on already stretched household budgets,                                                                     D           £68,001 - £ 88,000
    however, we do not believe that even more cuts to essential front line services would be helpful.
                                                                                                                                                                             E           £88,001 - £120,000
                                                                                                                                                                             F           £120,001 - £160,000
    Unfortunately, we know that the next couple years will be equally as tough, with a budget gap of some
                                                                                                                                                                             G           £160,001 - £320,000
    £32million already forecast. We will soon begin the disheartening task of trying to identify these savings.
                                                                                                                                                                             H           More than £320,000
    These are difficult messages to have to give, and I must thank local people for their continued support
    during these testing times. We know that many of you will have friends, neighbours and family that rely on
    Council services in their everyday lives - please be reassured that we are working tirelessly to ensure we     What you will pay in 2015/16
    do whatever we can to continue to offer this essential support.                                                Council Tax charges 2015/16

                                                                                                                                                                                                         Sandymoor
                                                                                                                                                                            Daresbury

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Halebank
                                                                                                                                                                                         Preston
                                                                                                                               Halton

                                                                                                                                                             Moore

                                                                                                                                                                                         Brook
                                                                                                                    Band

                                                                                                                                              Hale
                                                                                                                     A     953.79        970.22         962.99         971.22           971.28       964.74          972.40
    Cllr Mike Wharton
                                                                                                                     B     1,112.76      1,131.93       1,123.49       1,133.09         1,133.16     1,125.53        1,134.48
    Executive Board Member - Resources
                                                                                                                     C     1,271.73      1,293.64       1,284.00       1,294.97         1,295.05     1,286.33        1,296.55

    Liverpool City Region Combined Authority                                                                         D     1,430.70      1,455.35       1,444.50       1,456.84         1,456.93     1,447.12        1,458.62

                                                                                                                      E    1,748.64      1,778.77       1,765.51       1,780.59         1,780.70     1,768.71        1,782.76
    From 1st April 2014, Halton Borough Council became part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority,
    which is a strategic body charged with overseeing certain functions on behalf of, and in partnership              F    2,066.58      2,102.19       2,086.51       2,104.34         2,104.47     2,090.30        2,106.91
    with, the five Merseyside councils and Halton. The Combined Authority has particular responsibilities for
    regeneration, employment and skills, housing, and transport. In respect of these particular responsibilities
                                                                                                                     G     2,384.49      2,425.57       2,407.49       2,428.06         2,428.21     2,411.86        2,431.02
    Halton will not however be fully integrated within the Combined Authority until 2018.                            H     2,861.40      2,910.70       2,889.00       2,913.68         2,913.86     2,894.24        2,917.24

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A guide to Council Tax and Business Rates 2015/2016 - Your Services, Your Halton - www.halton.gov.uk
Making it easier to pay your bill                                                                                  A guide to Council Tax
    You can pay your Council Tax by direct debit, card, cash, cheque or online.
    Your Council Tax bill is normally payable by ten           year are shown at the bottom of your bill. You may      Council Tax is payable on most homes. How much you pay, before benefits and discounts, depends on
    monthly instalments, however if you wish to pay            pay fortnightly provided the monthly amount is paid     the “banding” of the property. A ‘typical’ house in the UK is one that was valued at 1 April 1991 at between
    over 12 months, please contact us by 15 April. If you      in full by the due date.                                £68,000 and £88,000 and so is in tax ‘band D’. Houses with lower values are put in bands A to C and pay
    become liable part way through the year or receive                                                                 less tax, while those with higher values are put in bands E to H and pay more tax.
    a bill after the start of the year your instalments will   We’re here to help. If you have difficulty in paying
    be reduced accordingly.                                    your Council Tax, please call us immediately, we will
                                                               make an arrangement to help you clear the debt.         The band of your house and the amounts you pay are shown on your bill.
    Details of the monthly instalments for the current

    Direct Debit           Monthly installments starting 1st, 10th, 20th or 28th                                       Are you paying too much?
                           April
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Help if you are
                                                                                                                       The Council Tax bill for each band assumes that there are at least two
    Half yearly            1st installment due 15th April, 2nd installment due                                         adults living in each property. If there is only one adult, a 25% discount        disabled
                           on or before 1st September                                 The easy way to pay. If          will be given.
                                                                                      you already pay other                                                                                              If you, or someone living
    Annually               Payable on or before 15th April                            bills by direct debit, you                                                                                         with you, need a room,
                                                                                      will know how simple it is.      Any person over 18 years old is counted as an adult. The following
                                                                                                                                                                                                         an extra bathroom,
                                                                                      With direct debit there is       people may not count when we look at the number of adults who live                kitchen or extra space
    Debit/credit card      Payment can be made over the telephone using
                                                                                      no more queuing, postage                                                                                           in your property to meet
                           most major debit / credit cards. Please note that                                           in a property:
                                                                                      and you have the peace                                                                                             special requirements
                           a surcharge of 2% will be made on all credit card
                                                                                      of mind knowing your bill                                                                                          arising from a disability
                           payments however no charge will be made for
                           the use of debit cards.                                    is being paid on time. You               ·   Full time students, student nurses and Youth Training trainees        you may be entitled to a
                                                                                      can set up your direct debit             ·   Patients resident in hospital                                         discount.
                           Please call the automated payment line on                  by calling us on 0151 511                ·   Anyone being looked after in care homes                               Your bill may be
                           0303 333 4300 (open 24hrs, seven days a week)              7771, or in person at any
                                                                                      Halton Direct Link, just
                                                                                                                               ·   Anyone with a severe mental illness                                   reduced to that of a
                                                                                                                                                                                                         property in the band
    Online                 Payment can be made online at
                                                                                      remember to have your                    ·   Anyone who lives in a hostel or a shelter
                                                                                                                                                                                                         immediately below the
                                                                                      bank details with you. We                ·   18 and 19 year olds still at or just left school                      band shown for your
                           www.halton.gov.uk                                          will confirm details of your
                           You will need to have your account reference               direct debit within three                ·   Care-workers working for low pay (Less than £36 per week)             property. If you are
                                                                                                                                                                                                         already in band A, the
                           number to hand
                                                                                      working days. As well as                 ·   Anyone caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse,      lowest valuation band,
                                                                                      being simple and safe for
                                                                                                                                   partner or child under 18                                             you may still qualify for
                                                                                      you, paying by direct debit
                                                                                                                                                                                                         a reduction of 1/9th of
    Cheque                 Please pay in person at any Halton Direct Link,            helps us keep costs down                 ·   Diplomats and visiting services staff
                                                                                                                                                                                                         band D charge.
                           or send by post to Halton Borough Council,                 too, therefore helping to                ·   Members of religious communities (monks & nuns)
                           Revenues & Benefits, PO Box 223, Widnes WA8                keep the Council Tax as
                           2DA                                                        low as possible.                         ·   People in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of
                                                                                                                                   Council Tax or fine)
    Please make your cheque payable to Halton Borough Council
                                                                                      Having problems paying?                  ·   Annexes occupied by members of the main household’s
                                                                                      We’re here to help –                         family, or used as part of the main dwelling are entitled to 50%
    Cash                   Pay by monthly installments starting 15th April                                                         discount
                           using one of the payment kiosks located at any             If you have difficulty in
                           Halton Direct Link (see last page for locations)           paying your Council Tax,         Your bill will show if you are entitled to a discount. If none is shown but you
                           Please do not send cash through the post.                  please call us immediately       think you could be entitled to one, call us immediately on 0151 511 7771.
                                                                                      and we will make an
                                                                                      arrangement to help you
                                                                                      clear the debt.

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A guide to Council Tax and Business Rates 2015/2016 - Your Services, Your Halton - www.halton.gov.uk
Should you be paying Council Tax?                                                                               How to appeal
    Owners of empty properties will be liable for Council Tax.                                                      You may only appeal against the band your home is in if one of the following applies:

    Some properties that have no one living in them may be exempt if they:                                                  ·   The property has significantly changed in value because of demolition or adaptation work or
            ·   are unfurnished (exempt for up to four weeks)                                                                   because of a change in the area such as a major new road next to the property
            ·   are owned by a charity (exempt for up to six months)                                                        ·   You start or stop using part of the property as a business, or the balance between domestic and
            ·   are left empty by someone who has gone to prison                                                                business use changes
            ·   are left empty by someone who has moved in order to receive personal care in a hospital or a
                                                                                                                            ·   The Listing Officer has altered a list without a proposal having been made by a taxpayer
                home or elsewhere
            ·   are left empty by someone who has moved to provide personal care to another person
                                                                                                                            ·   You become the taxpayer of the property for the first time (you must appeal within six months)

            ·   have been left empty by students
                                                                                                                    Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of your bill.
            ·   are waiting probate or letters of administration to be granted (and for up to six months after)
            ·   have been repossessed                                                                               If you wish to appeal, you should contact the Listing Officer, The Valuation Office Agency, Redgrave Court,
                                                                                                                    Merton Road, Bootle, L20 7HS Tel: 03000 501501
            ·   are the responsibility of a bankrupt’s trustee
            ·   are empty because no one is allowed to live there by law                                            You may also appeal if you consider that you are not liable to pay Council Tax, or you believe there has
                                                                                                                    been a mistake in calculating your bill.
            ·   are waiting to be lived in by a minister of religion
            ·   are unoccupied granny annexes                                                                       If you wish to appeal on these grounds, you should contact Halton Borough Council in writing.
            ·   are made up of a pitch or a mooring which is not occupied by a caravan or a boat
                                                                                                                    If your appeal is successful, you will be entitled to a refund of any overpaid tax. If you think your property
            ·   are solely occupied by students, under 18’s, or severely mentally impaired people.
                                                                                                                    may be exempt please contact the Council Tax team on 0151 511 7771.
    Properties that require, or are undergoing, major repair are entitled to 50% discount for a maximum of 12
    months.
                                                                                                                    Important information about your Council Tax data
    Properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished are entitled to 100% discount for 4 weeks followed by 25%
    discount for a further 22 weeks as long as they remain unoccupied.                                              Under section 6 of the Audit Commission Act 1998, we must participate in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI)
                                                                                                                    data matching exercise.
    Long term empty properties and second homes are subject to 100% charge. Some second homes may
    still be eligible for 50% discount where the owner is required to live elsewhere in job related premises e.g.   This means Council Tax data will be provided to the Audit Commission for NFI and will be used for cross-
    pub landlords, caretakers, members of armed forces in family accommodation. If you fall into one of these       system and cross-authority comparison for the prevention and detection of fraud.
    categories, please contact us on 0151 511 7771.
                                                                                                                    The data Halton Borough Council holds in respect of your Council Tax account will be used for cross-system
    Properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than two years are subject to a 50%               and cross-authority comparison purposes for the prevention and detection of fraud.
    empty homes premium.

    A billing authority also has discretion to reduce the amount of Council Tax payable for situations that are
    not covered by national discounts and exemptions. This can be used in individual cases or to determine
    classes of case in which liability may be reduced.

    If you think your property may be exempt, please contact us on 0151 511 7771.

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A guide to Council Tax and Business Rates 2015/2016 - Your Services, Your Halton - www.halton.gov.uk
Are you entitled to Council Tax reduction?                                                                    Don’t delay, report today!
    Over 35% of people who are entitled to claim money off their Council Tax bill are missing out – could you     If you receive Council Tax reduction and/or housing benefit, you should tell us immediately if your
    be one of them?                                                                                               circumstances change. Things you need to tell us about include:

    You do not have to be unemployed to claim Council Tax reduction. If you are in work but on a low income,              ·   A change in your income, including the type of income or the amounts you receive
    Council Tax reduction could pay some, or all, of your Council Tax bill.
                                                                                                                          ·   A person moving in or out of your home, including additions to your family

    Housing Benefit                                                                                                       ·   A child leaving school, or further/higher education

    If you pay rent for your home and are on a low income, you may also qualify for help towards paying this              ·   A change in the income of anyone living in your home, other than yourself or you partner
    too. You may be able to get Housing Benefit if you are on other benefits, work part-time, or work full-time
    on a low income.                                                                                              It is important that you tell us about these changes so that you do not miss out on benefits you are entitled
                                                                                                                  to, or that you do not receive benefits you are not entitled to. If you receive more than you are entitled to,
    How much will you get?                                                                                        we may claim the money back by taking it off future payments, or by sending you a bill.

    If you are eligible for housing benefit and/or Council Tax reduction, the amount you receive will depend on
    how much you have to pay in rent/Council Tax and your circumstances. This includes:                           Maximise your income – claim it or lose it
           ·   Your income (and partner’s income if you have one)
                                                                                                                  Every year the Welfare Rights Service helps residents of Halton to claim over £2.5 million in welfare benefits.
           ·   Your savings
                                                                                                                  This is money that people are often unaware they are entitled to. Much of this money is not “means tested”,
           ·   The number of children that live with you                                                          but depends on your state of health and will not affect any other benefit entitlement.

           ·   Other people in your household                                                                     Our Welfare Rights Service can help in a number of ways:

           ·   If you or someone in your family has a disability                                                          ·   Benefit check – a free and confidential benefit check to maximise your income and advise and
                                                                                                                              apply for any welfare benefits you may be entitled to

    Second adult rebate
                                                                                                                          ·   Appeals – help in making an appeal against a decision for any welfare benefits, where you
    You may also be able to reduce your Council Tax bill if you live with someone who is on a low income and                  have refused or think the decision is wrong
    you would normally be entitled to a single person discount if they were not living with you. The rebate is
    based on the income of any second adult that lives with you, not on your income or savings.
                                                                                                                          ·   Money advice – free and confidential advice and debt management to help you with your finances
    How to claim
                                                                                                                  To contact the Welfare Rights Services call 0151 511 8930.
    If you are unsure if you will qualify, you should make a claim to find out. For expert advice, leaflets and
    application forms, contact our Benefits Service:
    In person – at any Halton Direct Link
    By telephone – 0151 511 7772
    By email – benefits@halton.gov.uk

    You will find more information about benefits on our website www.halton.gov.uk/benefits

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How the money is spent                                                                                          Halton’s band D charge is £1,204.01 and is calculated from the following figures:

 The calculation of the amount of Council Tax is based on the spending requirements of Halton Borough                                                            2015/16           2014/15            Difference
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      %
 Council, Cheshire Police Authority, Cheshire Fire Authority and, if appropriate, the relevant Parish Council.                                                      £                 £                    £

 The Council’s spending (known as the ‘Budget Requirement’) is planned to be £101.452m. Schools are               Gross expenditure                            314,972,845        313,552,804         1,420,041      0.5
 funded by a specific grant known as the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) The following chart demonstrates
 how the budget requirement is split over each of the Authority’s services.                                       (less) Income                               (213,520,844)      (205,309,712)        (8,211,132)    4.0

                                                                                                                  BUDGET REQUIREMENT                           101,452,001       108,243,092          (6,791,091)   (6.3)

 Budget Requirement by Service 2015/16                                                                            (less) Start-up Funding

                                                                                                                                   Revenue Support Grant       28,261,409         38,987,978         (10,726,569)   (27.5)
                                        Cultural, Planning and Environmental Services 12.3%
                                                                                                                                             Top Up Grant       7,449,080          7,309,410           139,670       1.9
                                                   Highways, Roads & Transport 4.5%
                                                                                                                                  Business Rates Retention     27,092,791         24,844,720          2,248,071      9.0

                                                                                                                                                               62,803,280         71,142,108         (8,338,828)    (11.7)

                                                             Adult Social Care 21.5%                              Council Tax Requirement                      38,648,721         37,100,984          1,547,737      4.2

                                                                                                                 The band D charge is calculated by dividing the above Council Tax Requirement by the Tax Base.

                                                                                                                 Band D Council Tax Charge Calculation:      38,648,721 = £1,204.01
                                                                                                                 				                                           32,100

                                                                                                                 The aggregate band D charge for Halton is made up as follows:
                                                        Education Services including DSG 60.4%

                                                                                                                                                                 2015/16            2014/15           Difference      %
                                                                                                                                                                    £                  £                   £
                                                                                                                  Halton’s Band D Charge                         1,204.01           1,181.56            22.45       1.90
 Local Government Settlement Funding Assessment (which incorporates Revenue Support Grant & Top-Up
                                                                                                                  The Police Authority’s Band D Charge            156.23              153.21             3.02       1.97
 Grant) and a contribution from the Collection Fund (Business Rates Retention & Council Tax), is deducted
 from the Budget Requirement to give the ‘Council Tax Requirement’.                                               The Fire Authority’s Band D Charge              70.46               69.09              1.37       1.98
                                                                                                                  Total Council Tax Band D Charge                1,430.70          1,403.86             26.84       1.91
 Council Tax is calculated by reference to the number of equivalent band D properties in Halton, which
 is 32,100 (called `The Tax Base’) and is expressed as a charge per band D property. Charges for other
 bands are then arrived at using a set ratio (see Council Tax Charges on Page 3 for details of all the band
 charges).

10                                                                                                                                                                                                                           11
In addition, properties in the parishes will be liable to pay an extra charge to cover the parish needs.
 The 2015/16 Tax Base, Precept, and Band D charge for each Parish are shown below.                              Non-Domestic Rates
                                                                                                                Non-Domestic Rates, or business rates, collected by local authorities are the method by which those who
                                                                     Band D         Band D                      are liable for non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services. Under the business rates
            Parish     Tax Base           Parish Precept                                           Difference
                                                                     Charge         Charge                      retention arrangements, introduced from 1st April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of the business rates
                                                                                                                paid locally.
                                      2015/16        2014/15         2015/16        2014/15
                                         £              £               £              £                £       This money, together with revenue from council taxpayers, revenue support grant provided by the Government
     Hale                 649          16,000         15,400          24.65          23.95            0.70      and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by Halton Borough Council and other local
                                                                                                                authorities in your area. Further information about Non-Domestic Rates, including transitional and other reliefs
     Moore                320          4,416           4,300          13.80           13.61            0.19
                                                                                                                may be obtained at www.gov.uk.
     Daresbury            153          4,000           3,475          26.14          23.17            2.97
                                                                                                                For 2015/2016, the Government has set the standard non-domestic rating multiplier at 49.3 pence per £ of
     Preston Brook        324          8,500           8,000          26.23          25.08             1.15
                                                                                                                rateable value and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier will be 48.0 pence.
     Halebank             488          13,625         13,820          27.92          27.98            (0.06)
     Sandymoor            948          15,566         15,600          16.42          16.42            0.00
     Total                                                                                                      Valuation of Property
                                       62,107         60,595
     precept
                                                                                                                All rateable values are provided by the Valuation Office Agency, which is a division of HM Revenue & Customs.
                                                                                                                More detailed information on the valuation of properties can be obtained by visiting their website at
                                                                                                                www.voa.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can write to the Agency at Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle,
                                                                                                                Merseyside, L20 7HS or call 03000 504000 for further details.

                                                                                                                Please note that you must pay in accordance with the instalments shown on your bill, pending any
                                                                                                                appeal against the rateable value for the property.

                                                                                                                Empty Property Rates
                                                                                                                The rating liability of empty property is presently 100% of the occupied rate due, once the initial exemption
                                                                                                                period has expired. The exemption is three-months for offices, shops and other non-industrial properties and
                                                                                                                six-months for industrial premises, such as factories, workshops and warehouses.

                                                                                                                The Government reduced the threshold for the exemption in respect of empty properties in 2011/12 and
                                                                                                                only vacant premises with a rateable value below £2,600 qualify for this exemption. This condition remains
                                                                                                                applicable for the 2015/16 financial year.

                                                                                                                Contact the Team
                                                                                                                You should not hesitate to contact the Non-Domestic Rate Team on 0151 511 8932 or by email at
                                                                                                                business.rates@halton.gov.uk, should you require any further information on any rating matters.

12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 13
ENVIRONMENT AGENCY NORTH WEST REGION                                                                           Worried about money?
 The Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) Regulations 2011                                                    If you have lost your job, are working less hours, or just struggling to pay your bills because of growing
                                                                                                                debt, we are here to help you. Our advisors can give you practical help, advice on managing your debts,
                                                                                                                money saving tips, benefits advice and ways to deal with other financial problems. Give us a call today on
 The Environment Agency is a levying body for its Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Functions           0303 333 4300.
 under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and the Environment Agency (Levies) (England and Wales)
 Regulations 2011.                                                                                              Looking for work?                                        Other sources of help include:
 The Environment Agency has powers in respect of flood and coastal erosion risk management for 6500             If you are unemployed, at risk of redundancy,
                                                                                                                                                                         Citizens Advice Bureau
 kilometres of main river and along tidal and sea defences in the area of the North West Regional Flood and     looking for a career change or you think you need
 Coastal Committee. Money is spent on the construction of new flood defence schemes, the maintenance            to improve your skills, there is a range of help at      (www.citizensadvice.org.uk t: 08451 304055)
 of the river system and existing flood defences together with the operation of a flood warning system and      hand.                                                    can give you advice on managing your finances
 management of the risk of coastal erosion. The financial details are:                                                                                                   and any tax issues.
                                                                                                                Our Adult Learning team offers courses to improve        StepChange

                                                                                                                English, Maths and ICT skills - visit www.halton.        (www.stepchange.org t: 0800 1381111) is a
 North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee                                                                                                                         charity that provides confidential free counselling
                                                                                                                gov.uk/adultlearning or call us on 0303 333 4300.        and money management advice
                                                                                                                                                                         The National Debtline
                                                 2014/15                             2015/16
                                                                                                                The Halton Employment Partnership Award                  (www.nationaldebtline.co.uk t: 0808 808 4000)
                                                  000’s                               000’s                     is a programme aimed at enhancing your job               provides free debt advice and support.
                                                                                                                prospects by combining employability skills with
     Gross Expenditure                          £74,205                              £80,544                    sector-specific training.
     Levies Raised                               £3,638                               £3,711                                                                             Contact details:
                                                                                                                The course is delivered in two parts. During the first
     Total Council Tax Base                        1,955                               1,995                    two weeks you will cover:                                Council Tax:
                                                                                                                                                                         Tel: 0151 511 7771
                                                                                                                CV and letter writing, job search and job
 The majority of funding for flood defence comes directly from the Department for the Environment, Food                                                                  Email: council.tax@halton.gov.uk
                                                                                                                applications, interview skills, IT for work, team
 and Rural Affairs (Defra). However, under the new Partnership Funding rule not all schemes will attract full                                                            Business Rates:
                                                                                                                working, communication and assertiveness, setting
 central funding. To provide ‘matching’ funding the Agency may seek funding from County and Metropolitan                                                                 Tel: 0151 511 8932
                                                                                                                goals and action planning, time management.
 Councils, Unitary Authorities and London Boroughs in the form of a Local Levy. The Local Levy is shared on
                                                                                                                                                                         Email: business.rates@halton.gov.uk
 the basis of Band D Equivalents between all contributing bodies within the Committee Area.
                                                                                                                The following two weeks offer you the opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                         Benefits:
                                                                                                                to access sector specific training in Customer
 Changes in the Gross Budgeted expenditure between the years both reflects the impact of the Government                                                                  Tel: 0151 511 7772
                                                                                                                Care, Hospitality & Leisure or Retail. The course
 Spending Review and national prioritisation of projects. For 15/16 we have included Grant Aided Expenditure                                                             Email: benefits@halton.gov.uk
                                                                                                                also includes achievement of a Health & Safety
 on all Risk Management Authority Programs. The total Local Levy raised has increased by 2%.
                                                                                                                Certificate.                                             Cheshire Police Authority
 The total Local Levy raised has increased from £3,638,000 in 2014/2015 to £3,710,760 for 2015/2016.                                                                     Tel: 01244 614003
                                                                                                                For more information call 0151 511 8931, visit www.      Cheshire Fire Authority
 For further information you can visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk or contact the Customer Help line:         halton.gov.uk/hep or email: hep@halton.gov.uk.           Tel: 01606 868484
 08708 506 50, Incident Hotline: 0800 80 70 60, Floodline: 0845 988 1188.

                                                                                                                Halton People Into Jobs can offer a wide range           You can also write to:
                                                                                                                of support to help you get back to work if you are       Strategic Director – Policy & Resources
                                                                                                                unemployed, visit www.halton.gov.uk/hpij or call         Halton Borough Council
                                                                                                                0303 333 4300.                                           Municipal Building, Kingsway, Widnes WA8 7QF

14                                                                                                                                                                                                                             15
16   17
COUNCIL TAX INFORMATION 2015–16

Building the fire service of
T        the future
      he first of four new fire
      stations is scheduled to open
      this summer as Cheshire Fire
Authority continues its programme                  the near £8 million savings the Authority
to fundamentally change how its                    needs to make over the next four years due
emergency response service will be                 to cuts in its funding.
provided in the future.                              In 2015-16 savings of £1.9 million are
  With crews attending 50% less incidents          required, with £950,000 coming from the
than a decade ago, the programme aims to           emergency response changes and the rest
ensure future staffing is more in line with risk   mostly from a major value for money review
and activity levels and that the new stations      across back office areas.
improve overall average response times.              In addition, the Authority is increasing its
   The on-call station at Alsager is due to        Council Tax level by 1.99% which means
open in July 2015, with around 16 local            that the amount for a Band D home will be
people being trained to work as part-time          £70.46 – an increase of £1.37 or 2.6p per
firefighters. Planning permission has also         week.
been obtained for full-time fire stations at
Penketh near Warrington, Powey Lane near
                                                      As well as the new stations, the
                                                   Authority’s capital programme for 2015-16        STAY                                                 STAY
                                                                                                      SAFE                                               ALERT
the M56 and at the Lymm motorway                   includes:
junction.
                                                    • £840,000 for three new fire engines
   Work on these starts in 2015-16 with the
                                                    • £700,000 on a new hydraulic platform
Lymm development integrating a fire
                                                      to help firefighters work at height
station with a state of the art training and                                                        Over half of all fires in the home start in the      Sign up to our messaging system to get vital
safety facility. The iconic circular building       • £170,000 to fit all fire engines with         kitchen – stay safe by following our tips:           information about major incidents and issues in
will feature scenarios aimed at raising               new computers so crews can get the            • Always clean the grill pan after use to stop fat   your area.
awareness of a wide range of risks to young           latest risk information.                         and oil building up
                                                                                                                                                         The Alert System is a completely free two-way
people, older people and carers.                                                                    • Never leave cooking unattended
                                                      More details about how the Authority                                                               community messaging system which allows you to
                                                                                                    • Make sure that you have a working smoke
   Total cost of the building programme is         aims to protect local communities are set           alarm                                             receive key messages from the Service by text
£15.5 million and it is hoped this will be         out in ‘Making Cheshire Safer’. This annual                                                           message, email or phone.
                                                                                                    • Don’t start cooking if you have had alcohol or
fully funded from grants and reserves.             publication, also known as the Integrated           are really tired                                  To register go to the Service’s website -
Changes in how some stations will be               Risk Management Plan for 2015-16, is on          • Keep tea towels and cloths away from grills        www.cheshirefire.gov.uk/MyAccount - and put in
crewed are making a major contribution to          the Service’s website.                              and hobs                                          your home or work post code or that of a relative
                                                                                                    • Watch out if you are wearing loose clothing.       and choose the alerts you want.

                                                                                                                                 cheshirefire.gov.uk
 18                                                                                                                                                                                                   19
Cheshire Fire Authority                                                                           Estimated expenditure and income
                               Facts and figures
The Fire Authority manages
                               Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service operates:                                                                             2015–16                2014–15
the local fire and rescue                                                                                                                             £m                     £m
service on behalf of the       • 24 Fire Stations                                                 Pay related expenditure
community. It comprises 23     • 4 Community Safety Centres                                         Firefighters                                       23.5                 24.0
councillors – eight from                                                                            Other staff                                         7.3                  7.4
                               • 3 Community Fire Protection Offices                              Non-pay expenditure                                  12.8                 12.7
Cheshire East, seven from
Cheshire West and Chester,     • A Headquarters and training facility.                            Income                                               (1.4)                 (1.4)
five from Warrington and
three from Halton.             The Authority provides a 24 hour service to just                   Budget requirement                                   42.2                 42.7
Representing                   over 1 million people and employs some:
Halton                         • 663 operational staff
Cllr Phil Harris               • 229 community safety and other support staff.
                                                                                                  How the budget compared with last year
Cllr Stef Nelson
                                                                                                  The Fire Authority budget requirement for 2015–16 is £42.2 million
Cllr Rob Polhill                                                                                  compared with a budget of £42.7 million for last year. The reasons for the
                                                                                                  1.2% decrease in the overall budget are as follows:
                               Fire budget 2015–16                                                                                                 £m
                                                                                                                                                               % increase
                                                                                                                                                               (decrease)
                               The Fire Authority has agreed that a budget of
                               £42.2 million is required to provide a fire and                    Last year’s budget                              42.7
                               rescue service to the communities of Cheshire
                                                                                                  Pay and price inflation                          0.7             1.6
                                                                                                  Essential growth                                 0.7             1.7
                               East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and
                                                                                                  Efficiencies and Savings                        (1.9)           (4.6)
Meeting dates                  Warrington areas for 2015–16.
                                                                                                  IRMP & Financing adjustments                      0.1            0.2
                                                                                                  Other*                                          (0.1)           (0.1)
                               With £17.44 million provided through
Wed   17   June         2015   Government grants and Business rates, it means                     Total                                                42.2                  (1.2)
Wed   23   September    2015   that £24.51 million will need to be raised from                    *Other includes:
Wed    9   December     2015   local Council Tax, which is equivalent to £70.46                   Allocation of second homes precept                 0.001
Wed   10   February     2016   for each Band D dwelling. This is a rise of 1.99%,                 Section 31 grants                                 (0.058)
                               or 2.6p a week for a Band D home.
Wed   20   April        2016
All meetings are open to the   The budget equates to a cost per resident of just                  Where the money will come from
public, start at 10.30am and   81p per week.
are held at the Service                                                                                                                                 £m           £ Per            £ Band D
Headquarters in Winsford.                                                                                                                                          Resident          Equivalent
                                                                                                  This year’s budget                                  42.18          42.18             121.25
All reports and minutes are      Queries about this leaflet should be sent to: Head of Finance,   Less Government grants and Business rates          (17.67)        (17.67)            (50.79)
on the Service’s website -      CFRS Headquarters, Sadler Road, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 2FQ
www.cheshirefire.gov.uk                                                                           Local Council Tax                                   24.51          24.51             70.46
                                    t: 01606 868700 e: feedback@cheshirefire.gov.uk

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                                                                                                  feedback@cheshirefire.gov.uk   01606 868700   facebook.com/CheshireFRS     @CheshireFire
Halton Direct Link
All together - a better way
We are here to help you however you choose to contact us:

In person
If you would like to speak to one of our expert advisors face-to-face you can visit us at Halton Direct link.
You will find us at:

                     Halton Lea            Widnes Brook          Runcorn Library         Ditton Library
                   Shopping Centre            Street
 Monday           9:00 – 17:30           9:00 – 17:30           10:00 – 17:00          10:00 – 17:00
 Tuesday          9:00 – 17:30           9:00 – 17:30           10:00 – 18:00          10:00 – 18:00
 Wednesday        9:00 – 17:30           9:00 – 17:30           CLOSED                 CLOSED
 Thursday         9:00 – 17:30           9:00 – 17:30           9:30 – 17:00           9:30 – 17:00
 Friday           9:00 – 17:30           9:00 – 17:30           10:00 – 17:00          10:00 – 17:00
 Saturday         9:00 – 13:00           9:00 – 13:00           10:00 – 14:30          10:00 – 14:30

Call us
If it is more convenient for you to use the telephone, then just call our contact centre on 0303 333 4300 we
are open 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

Whichever way you choose to get in touch, our expert staff will be there to help. They are fully trained to
help with Council Tax queries and payments, benefits advice, street lighting repairs, pest control, waste
management enquiries and much, much more.

If they cannot help you directly themselves they will ensure your query is passed on to the correct person
and that you receive a prompt response.

Visit our website

Don’t forget that our website www.halton.gov.uk has lots of useful information about council services, our
borough, facts and figures, what’s on and other local news.

You can also pay your Council Tax online or email us with your questions and comments.

If you do not have access to the internet at home or work, you can use the internet for FREE at one of our
libraries or any Halton Direct Link.
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