Satellite photo of St Helens town centre at sunset

St Helens – A place of great potential with many strengths and opportunities.

St Helens is situated in Merseyside and is proud to be part of the Liverpool City Region. It covers an area of 136 square kilometres and is home to over 180,000 people with 4,800 businesses based in the borough. The borough is well connected, sitting in the heart of the North West with fantastic road and rail connections to towns, cities and the countryside.

It is a place with a strong identity and cultural history, rooted in our world-famous industrial heritage of coal mining, railways, glass, and chemical industries. Although St Helens was once an industrial centre, it boasts rural surroundings, with traditional villages and plenty of green space.

Our strengths are many and include:

  • Community spirit – our borough is a caring place with many local people volunteering or helping support their family and neighbours, never more evident than in the way it has come together during the Covid-19 pandemic to support our most vulnerable residents.

  • Regeneration and transformation – an ambitious programme of transformational regeneration is planned for our town centres, a new Local Plan for the borough, major new employment site development and a programme of locality-based working to improve outcomes and address inequalities within our neighbourhoods.

  • Green parks and open spaces – over half of our borough is green open space, with parks, woodlands, and waterways to enjoy.

  • Heritage and culture – our borough has a rich heritage and growing reputation for the arts and culture.

  • Integrated health and care – St Helens Cares is our nationally recognised approach to delivering joined up health and social care services for local people.

  • A growing population – more than 180,000 people living in our borough. There has been strong housing growth and increasing numbers of people choosing to come to live here.

  • A place to call home – a wide range of housing to meet everyone’s needs, good schools and colleges, and a calendar of sporting and cultural events.

St Helens Town HallThe council’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT) is led by the Chief Executive, and includes three Executive Directors (Corporate Services, Integrated Health and Social Care, Place Services), a Director of Children and Young People, and an Assistant Chief Executive.

The Executive Director for Integrated Health and Social Care and Accountable Officer for the CCG is also Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care System Place Lead for St Helens Borough.

An organisational-wide programme of modernisation has been ongoing for the last two years, which, in a relatively short space of time, has resulted in a dramatic shift in the operation of services, ways of working and the emergence of a new organisational culture.

In September 2021, the council underwent an LGA Corporate Peer Challenge Revisit, which recognised significant and impressive organisational transformation and improvement.

The council provides a range of local authority services including care services for older people, vulnerable adults and people with disabilities, children’s centres and early years services, school support and improvement, support for children with special educational needs, fostering and adoption services, public health, waste and recycling, street cleansing, libraries, leisure services, licensing, housing and homelessness support, planning and development permissions, environmental health and trading standards, benefits administration, maintenance of highways, footpaths, parks and open spaces, and many more.

St Helens has a total of 18 electoral wards and 48 ward councillors. Following the last local elections in May 2022, the council is Labour-controlled, with 29 Labour Party councillors.

The council’s political management structure includes a leader and cabinet model. The cabinet is made up of the leader and up to nine councillors, whom the leader appoints as portfolio holders. Each cabinet member has responsibility for an individual portfolio area, each of which relates to particular services and functions of the council.

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