A series of public meetings have been organised to give local people an opportunity to give their views on savings options put forward by Council officers as part of the Council’s budget setting process.
The budget gap facing the Council in financial year 2018/19 is currently expected to be around £13.1m.
Over the last seven years the Council has made savings of around 30% and there is no sign that the pressures on public sector spending will let up for the foreseeable future. With demand for some key services increasing and various significant demographic pressures, it is increasingly challenging to make savings which will not impact on residents and communities.
The Council is legally required to set a balanced budget. An online consultation opened last month on the Council website and over 300 responses have already been received.
The results of the consultation on the officer savings options will be put forward to councillors who will make the final decisions at a budget meeting early next year.
Chief Executive Elaine McPherson said: “Council officers are putting forward a number of options to make significant savings, some of which are very challenging and will represent a real change to the kind of services the Council has historically delivered. I would encourage residents to read over the draft savings options and have their say so that we can share these views with the councillors before they make the final decisions.”
Council Leader Les Sharp said: “The savings options have been put forward by officers and no decisions have been made on them. That’s why it’s important that our residents give us their views, so that all councillors can hear what they have to say when the time comes to make the difficult decisions to balance the budget and protect essential services.”
The savings proposals can be viewed on the Council website, where you can also complete an online survey. The consultation closes on 2nd February 2018. Staff in your local council office can help you with this if you don't have access to a computer.