Have Your Say on Cornwall Council’s Draft Budget

Bude Councillor, Nigel Pearce, at County Hall

Bude Councillor, Nigel Pearce, at County Hall

Cornwall Council is encouraging local residents, businesses, partners and Council staff to give their views on the draft  Budget proposals,  make suggestions on where savings could be made or how income could be increased. In view of the car parking fees, and the potential toilet closures in Bude, local people may wish to get involved.

Outlining details of the draft proposals at the briefing for Members Council Leader John Pollard said that Cornwall faced a huge challenge.

 

“We have already saved £170 million over the last four years, with £160m of this coming from reducing back office functions and administration, but we will need to save a further £196 million by 2019 to balance our books.  The work we have done over the past few weeks shows that even if we decide to increase council tax by 1.97 %, we will have £24 million less to deliver services in 2014/2015. This is on top of the £19million savings already planned for this year as part of the medium term financial strategy.

“These are stark figures and we need to establish what can be delivered in terms of services, how the Council can be organised in the light of the budgetary constraints and which services and responsibilities we will defend.  We need a vision for Cornwall which responds to the much reduced funding we have.

“We will have to make some hard decisions but the reality is that we have no choice: times are hard and there is no money.  If we want to defend care for the elderly, support for the young and protection for the vulnerable then other elements of our work and service will have to change.”

 

Last month the Council announced details of a Cornwall wide consultation on the budget and  Launceston Councillor and Cabinet member, Alex Folkes,  said that they wanted as many people as possible to give their views on the draft proposals.

 

“This is a genuine consultation and I would urge everyone to read the proposals and help us to set the priorities for the future,” he said.

“We are staging a series of consultation events to find out the views of members of the public as well as voluntary and community groups during September and October.  These include public meetings in each of the 19 community network areas between 5 September and 9 October, and a Cornwall Budget Debate at County Hall, Truro on 10 October which will be webcast live on the Council’s website.”

 

The public meetings, all of which will begin at 6.30 pm, are being held at:

Thursday, 5 September
St Austell One Stop Shop

Friday, 6 September
Perranzabuloe Parish Rooms

Monday, 9 September
Alexander Hall, St Blazey

Wednesday, 11 September
Launceston Town Hall

Thursday, 12 September
Shire House Suite, Bodmin

Friday, 13 September
Wadebridge Council Offices

Monday, 16 September
St Pinnock Village Hall, near Liskeard

Tuesday, 17 September
Pool Innovation Centre

Thursday, 19 September
St John’s Hall, Penzance

Friday, 20 September
Helston Town Hall

Monday, 23 September
Roche Victory Hall

Wednesday, 25 September
St Germans Community Centre

Friday, 27 September
Millennium House, Pensilva

Monday, 30 September
Newquay Treviglas Community College

Wednesday, 2 October
Falcon Hotel, Bude

Thursday, 3 October
Mabe Village Hall

Friday, 4 October
Council Chamber, County Hall, Truro

Monday 7 October
Frank Johns Centre, Hayle

Wednesday, 9 October
Clease Hall, Camelford

The authority will also be launching “YouChoose”, an online budget simulator, on its website during October which will give people the opportunity to try and balance the budget for themselves.

“YouChoose will enable people in Cornwall to try making the difficult decisions on how and where to spend the reducing amount of money available to the Council” explained Alex Folkes.  “People will be able to choose how much money to give individual services and to see the impact of any cuts in funding.  We will then use what they tell us to help inform our budget setting process both for next year and for the next few years.”

The results of the public and staff consultation will then be fed back to the Cabinet to consider before the budget is finalised.

Following today’s all Member briefing the draft proposals will be considered in detail by each of the Council’s ten Portfolio Advisory Committees during September. The views of the PACs will then be fed back to a meeting of the Finance and Resources PAC on 9 October which will consider the overall financial position for the authority.  The outcome of this meeting will then be considered at the special meeting of the Cabinet in early November which will agree the budget to be recommended to the full Council on 26 November.

 

Extracted/adapted from the Cornwall Council website.

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