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Council budgets

The financial challenge

St Helens Borough Council, like other councils across the country, continues to face financial challenges in providing good quality services and ensure the council remains financially sustainable for the future.

Budget 2021/22

In setting a budget for 2021/22, the council continues to face a number of significant financial pressures that existed before factoring in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing additional support and facing reductions in revenue streams, as a result of the pandemic, has had a significant impact upon all local authorities, with the impact forecast to be felt over a sustained period.

Key to the success of our recovery is working with all stakeholders across the borough, including public and private sector, and the community and voluntary sector to shape the future economy of the town. As well as the ongoing impact of COVID-19, other significant uncertainties that will impact upon the council's future budget exist, including:

  • the level of support from Government for ongoing COVID-19 issues;
  • the future level of general and specific Government funding;
  • the impact the review of the business rates system; and
  • the impact of Brexit.

A Budget Strategy 2021-2022 report was presented to Cabinet on 7 October 2020, with a further report detailing progress in identifying potential savings proposals to meet the anticipated budget gap for 2021/22 and future years being presented to Cabinet on 6 January 2021. Both of these reports can be found under 'Useful Links' below.

Budget 2021/22 – your views

We want you, the residents of St Helens Borough, to share your views on our budget for 2021/22.

We want to talk to you about plans for the future, our transformation work and our proposals to help us continue to deliver vital services to the people of St Helens.

Delivering hundreds of services each year, at the same time as modernising and transforming services and balancing the budget against a back-drop of service demand and recovery from a worldwide pandemic, is a difficult task.

It is important we work with you, our partners and the local community to deliver the services that are vitally important to the people of St Helens.

Please read our Budget Challenge 2021/22 booklet and then tell us what you think by answering the questions below, or emailing budgetchallenge@sthelens.gov.uk.

The deadline for response is 5pm on Friday 12 February 2021.

You can also help us to decide what services you would like us to prioritise for the next year, by using our service prioritisation simulator.





The budget setting process passes through a number of stages, and the reports detailing the approval process are shown under 'Useful Links' below. The budget reports detail how portfolios plan to address key challenges and deliver the Council's stated priorities.

The Spending Round 2019 announced by Government in September 2019 was a one-year spending review for 2020/21. In line with this, the Council has set a budget for 2020/21.

The budget for 2020/21 was refreshed following the Local Government Finance Settlement and was approved by Cabinet on 26th February 2020 and by full Council on 4th March 2020.

The budget setting process for 2021/22 has started and the latest Budget Strategy report can be found under 'Useful Links'.

Following consultation with the public and key stakeholders the proposed budget is approved by Members at the end of February/beginning of March.

Every year the Council publishes a Budget Book setting out the agreed budget for the forthcoming financial year.  

This document can be found under Related Documents.