Sefton Council approves budget cuts after protest
- 1 March 2013
- From the section Liverpool
Councillors in Sefton approved savings of £50.7m in a budget meeting which was halted for an hour by protesters.
Police had to be called to Bootle Town Hall on Thursday to move the group of about 50 demonstrators before the meeting continued in a different room.
The council went on to approve plans to increase the cost of burials and cremations in the borough by £150.
However, proposals to close seven libraries and alter children and adult social care have been put on hold.
A decision will be taken on these issues in three months' time, the council said.
In the meantime, residents are being invited to put forward their own ideas on how the £400,000 needed to keep them open can be saved elsewhere in the borough.
Council leader Peter Dowd said: "We agreed last night that £400,000 savings from the libraries would be going ahead, but in the meantime it gives people who want to come forward with alternative proposals time to come up with alternative proposals.
"If people come up with options that are feasible, we will look at them."
Council tax has been frozen for the third year in a row.
Investment will continue across the borough, however, with the continuing development of projects like the Thornton Switch Island Link Road.
Proposals to close all public toilets have been axed along with increasing the cost of hiring sports pitches.
The council needs to save £50.7m over the next two years to meet a reduction in government grants.
Mr Dowd said: "Setting a two-year plan has been a massive challenge as we face unprecedented reductions in government spending.
"This means that local councillors have to step up and make very difficult decisions around which services are the biggest priorities for our residents."
Police were called to the town hall at about 19:00 GMT and the protesters, demonstrating over library cuts and the controversial "bedroom tax", were later removed.