Have Your Say On Where York Council Should Save Money
8:36am 13th November 2013
People in York are being asked to tell the city council where to save money. A series of 22 events are being held across York, starting from tonight, as the council begins to decide it's budget.
Chief Exec Kersten England says it'll be the toughest year ever for deciding where to make cuts.
Starting tonight (November 13), a series of consultation meetings across the city have been planned to give people a chance to voice their opinion. Discussions will revolve around the financial challenge faced by the Council in the coming years and how the council currently uses its budgets.
Venues will be open from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, and people can drop in at any point. A range of council officers and senior management will be on hand at each event to provide answers to any questions or queries.
Kersten England, Chief Executive of City of York Council said: “The council is expecting to have made £78million in budget reductions since 2007/8 by 2014/15, with £52million of this made since 2011/12. Though in previous years reductions have required some tough decisions on changes to service delivery, by comparison with other authorities we have maintained most of the services we provide. We have managed most of the savings to date through efficiencies and back office and management reductions.
“We - and all of local government – now face the toughest year yet when it comes to questions being raised about whether to continue to deliver certain services and if we do, how we deliver them, given the scale of reduction to our funding from central government. Clearly we’re committed to continuing to look at every opportunity to make efficiency savings, but this isn’t going to be enough to close the expected funding gap.
“As an authority we must – by law - ensure York’s children are educated, that waste is managed in the city, that residents have access to libraries, that the streets are lit and the road conditions safe, and that we plan for the physical development of the city. We must also protect our city’s most vulnerable residents, ensuring that funding is prioritised for adult social care and children's services. The demand for social care services in York is going up, taking a higher proportion of our overall budget as each year passes. This means that there will be less funding for other services.
“Council tax increases have also continued to be at a lower level than inflation, so the actual cost of providing services has been increasing at a greater rate than the increased revenue from council tax. All councils are having to consider finding radically different ways to deliver services at lower costs or they will be making significant cuts to services in the next two financial years. We need to change what we do and the way we do it, and we need partners and residents to help us deliver services more so than ever before, if we are to continue to keep the city and its communities working well.
“I hope that as many residents as possible attend these meetings and speak to officers directly about what matters most to them, but this is also an opportunity for them to help us to understand what part they can play to help shape and deliver services for them, their families and their communities.”
For any more information and a full list of dates for the upcoming meetings, please visit: www.york.gov.uk/budgetconsultation
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