Have your say on council budget and savings programme
This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.
South Gloucestershire residents are being invited to have their say on the council’s budget and council tax for 2015/16.
The council provides a wide range of services including refuse collection, street cleaning, planning, education, social care and road maintenance, and each year comments are invited on the council’s priorities and council tax levels for the coming year.
This year the consultation also asks local people to consider the council’s new six-year savings programme, which aims to deliver savings of £36m by 2020.
Savings of this scale, on top of previous savings of nearly £43m to be made as part of the council’s previous efficiency programme, will require significant changes to the services the council is able to provide in the future.
Reflecting this, the consultation asks local people to consider how the council should prioritise its resources, and how it can make services more affordable.
As part of the council’s goal of delivering value for money for residents – and recognising that many residents have also been affected by national austerity measures – the council is also proposing that council tax levels are frozen again in 2015/16. If approved, this will be the fifth year that the council’s element of the council tax – excluding police or other precepts – has not been increased, and the consultation asks for residents’ views on this proposal and its possible impacts on service provision.
Chair of the council’s Resources Sub-Committee Cllr John Goddard said: “As a council we have a strong track record of delivering efficient, value for money services to our residents with a lower level of spend than many other unitary authorities.
“We’ve also been effective at adapting to national austerity measures and between 2011 and 2015 saved nearly £43m, of which a large proportion has been through ‘back office’ efficiencies that have helped to protect our frontline services from funding reductions.
“We now have to look to the future and consider how we will adapt to further necessary savings of £36m by 2019/20. Savings of this scale, on top of those already delivered, will require big changes to our role and the services we provide as a council. In the coming years we will need to look closely at our priorities and explore new ways of working in partnership with other organisations and our communities to make services more affordable as we adapt to our more limited resources.
“I hope people will join this debate, and share their views on our council tax levels for 2015/16, by taking part in this year’s budget consultation.”
Officers will be available to answer budget questions at the following Area Forum meetings:
- Chase Area Forum: 17 November at 7pm, Kingswood Civic Centre
- Southern Brooks Area Forum: 18 November at 7pm, Abbeywood Community School, Stoke Gifford
- Kings Forest Area Forum: 24 November at 7pm, Kingswood Civic Centre
- Frome Vale Area Forum: 27 November at 7pm, Chipping Sodbury Town Hall
- Severnvale Area Forum: 3 December at 7pm, Turnberries Community Centre, Thornbury
People can also share their views in the following ways:
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By completing a consultation survey (available to complete online or download from the council website)
- By writing to: FREEPOST Plus RTCT-JXLE-EET, South Gloucestershire Council, Corporate Research & Consultation Team, Budget Consultation, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, BRISTOL, BS15 9TR
- By telephoning 01454 868154
The consultation closes on 31 January 2015 and the results will be considered by full Council in February 2015.
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