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Local people are being asked to give their views on the impact of savings options put forward by Council officers as part of the Council’s budget setting process.
Very difficult decisions need to be made and transformational change is required in order to make sure that the Council meets its legal requirement to set a balanced budget and is able to deliver those services which it is legally required to. Over the last 8 years, the Council has already made savings of around £43m, and now estimates it needs to save around 20% of current expenditure and it is projected that there will be around £30 million less to spend over the next three financial years.
To inform the process of budget setting by councillors, Council officers have put forward a range of options which cover many aspects of current service provision. Details and a short survey are now open on the Council website, while specific discussions with communities of interest will also take place. Officers are continuing to work to identify any further options for the coming years.
The results of the consultation on the officer savings options will be put forward to councillors before they make the final decisions at a budget meeting early this year.
Chief Executive Nikki Bridle said: “These proposals from Council officers are very challenging and reflect that it is now very difficult to find savings which will not impact on individuals and communities. Some proposals would result in reductions in service from existing levels, or change the way in which services are delivered in order to reduce costs, many of which involve working in collaboration with a range of partners. I would encourage residents to read over these savings options and fill in the online survey so that this can be shared with councillors before they agree a budget. Your views are a very important part of the decision making process.”
The budget process began with consultation on the draft Corporate Plan in November. This key document says where the Council wants to be in four years’ time, together with a clear statement of priorities. The second phase is the officer savings proposals, and these can be viewed on the Council website, where you can also complete an online survey. The consultation closes on 1st February 2019. Staff in your local council office can help you with this if you don't have access to a computer.