A comprehensive picture of St Helens Borough Council’s 2019/2020 finances is now available for residents to view, as the annual Statement of Accounts (SoA) is published.
The council must do this after each financial year, with the document setting out its financial position and the transactions made during the year thoroughly.
As well as a summary of the cost of council services, the Statement of Accounts details the council’s spend on largescale projects for the borough’s benefit, including major infrastructure improvements at Windle Island, the A58/A580 Pewfall Junction and the A570 St Helens Linkway, and the complete refurbishment of Newton-le-Willows Health and Fitness Centre among others.
The report mentions the landmark twenty-year partnership between the council and English Cities Fund to regenerate St Helens Borough’s town centres and ensure development across the borough was announced in March 2020. The partnership will complement the work of the Town Deal Board, established in September 2019 following the announcement of St Helens Borough being one of 100 places to develop proposals to access the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund
It also states that St Helens Borough demonstrated strong housing growth during 2019-2020 with a net increase of 758 dwellings. The council continues to work with developers to bring forward several significant Brownfield sites in the borough for housing schemes, while over 144,500m2 of new build employment floorspace was completed in 2019-2020.
Within the council’s People’s Services, Adult Social Care services maintained strong performance against the national Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework, comparing favourably to other authorities, while the Children’s Improvement Board has been meeting the challenges of the Ofsted ILACS inspection by overseeing a refreshed improvement plan.
Challenges within children’s social care services remain, but considerable further investment was made within the year to support improvement planning and Children’s Services continue to embed a culture that places children at the centre.
Councillor Martin Bond, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The Statement of Accounts represents our desire to provide greater transparency of our finances to all our residents, partners and stakeholders.
“It highlights what we’re doing well and where we are striving to improve. Set of course against the massive financial challenges and uncertainty we are navigating, during one of the hardest times we have ever faced as an organisation.
“As you’ll find in this report, the financial impact of Covid-19 can’t be overstated and there will be lasting damage that we must carefully consider. But with our strong leadership, prudent budget planning, sound management and the support of our dedicated staff and partners, we will recover.
“We are taking this opportunity to refresh our priorities, to be clearer about our ambitions and to move into a phase of transformation where we can create a fairer and more secure future for all our communities.”
View the full document online at https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/council/council-finance-performance/annual-accounts/