Residents across Cambridgeshire are being asked for their input in the setting of the County Council's budget for 2015/16.
People will be able to have their say face to face or online at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/budgetconsultation to help the Council meet the tough challenge of saving around Â£30.7 million next year.
Due to increased demand and inflation coupled with cuts in funding from Central Government, the Council's current business plan sets out the need to save Â£149.1 million over the next five years, with Â£30.7 million to save next year. This inevitably means the Council (along with all local authorities) will need to make more service cuts. This year the budget has to be balanced with 7.1% less money from Government and increased pressures on services from inflation and rising populations.
The aim is to undertake efficiencies which have minimal impact on front-line services. Significant savings have been made over recent years, but further savings need to be achieved. These savings have to be made whilst supporting and investing in services such as adult social care, protecting children, boosting the economy and looking after roads and transport.
Cambridgeshire residents are being asked to give the council their views on where it should be saving money. An online consultation www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/budgetconsultation has been launched this week (August 11) as well as door-to-door surveying. The survey looks at specific issues surrounding our savings whilst also seeking public opinion around Council Tax levels.
Next year the budget has to be balanced with a further reduction of 7.1 per cent less money from Government, alongside increased pressures on services from inflation and rising populations.
Comments about the Council's priorities or ideas for delivering services better or more efficiently can also be sent to:
Research & Performance Team: Budget Consultation,
SH1306 Shire Hall,
Cambridge CB3 0AP
Councillor Steve Count, Leader of the County Council said: "Councils across the country have some hard decisions to make. We want Cambridgeshire residents to have a big say in ours. The survey puts residents at the heart of the decision-making, allowing them to face the challenges we do in order to balance the budget. No decisions have been made at this point, but like last year, the suggestions and priorities indicated by residents will help shape the budget.
"The County Council services are very wide-ranging and touch everyone's lives - from looking after young people and adults during vulnerable periods in their lives to maintaining the County's roads and recycling rubbish. But with less money from Government and increasing demographic and inflation pressures we have to find millions of pounds in savings while continuing to deliver front line services.
"The County Council has worked hard to be efficient, budgeting to save Â£32 million last year, and a further Â£38 million this current financial year. But next year we have to find further savings in the region of Â£31 million. The survey will enable residents' voices to be heard, which we can use to help shape our budget and priorities for the future."
The consultation closes on 29 September 2014.