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Budget consultation 2016-17

Big Question 2016

Dear resident,

Cllr David Sparks, cabinet member for finance
Cllr David Sparks, cabinet member for finance

These are unprecedented times for Dudley Council with continuous reductions in funding from national government putting intense pressure on local services.

As part of this year’s budget proposals we have set out plans to save £20million over the next three years. But on our forecasts that means we will have a gap of a further £50million to find.

The savings are in response to the £65 million reduction in government funding since 2010 which is forecast to reach £100million over the next three years, a drop of 50 per cent.

Over the next three years we expect to have to reduce our controllable spend by a third – that means for every £3 we spend now we will be spending £2 in 18/19, meaning we have to find different ways of running services.

In 2015/16 Dudley’s Revenue Support Grant, its main source of general government funding, reduced by £61 per person, similar to the average for councils providing the same services. However, some councils were hit far less, having their grant reduced by as little as £18 per head - which is a fraction of Dudley's drop.

That said, we are continuing to provide award winning, and nationally recognised services for you, while having some of the lowest council tax rates in the country.

As a community council we have listened to thousands of your ideas and suggestions on council services through the Big Question, Community forums and other ways we listen to local people.

This year’s Big Question is about your suggestions and ideas about how we can deliver these services differently, such as more community involvement for example in halls or parks.

While we have a statutory obligation to run many services such as adult social care and children’s services, we need to find smarter and more innovative ways to continue running them.

This year we are asking you which services the community could play a greater role in.

Whatever decisions are taken on the budget next year, you will have a huge part to play in not only deciding how services run but in the actual delivery of them.

Thanks for taking the time to have your say.

Councillor David Sparks, cabinet member for finance at Dudley Council


:: more on the budget report


Community council

Local government is changing beyond all recognition and as a community council we recognise that people out in the communities have a bigger role than ever in shaping their local council.

Our council plan clearly sets out priorities for growing the economy and creating jobs, creating a cleaner and greener place and building stronger and safer communities. We work closely with a range of community groups already, which help us to deliver services right across the borough. Dudley Council for Volunteer Services is a great example of this with their ongoing running of Brierley Hill Civic Hall. Volunteers have been working hard in a bid to increase the number of people using the centre. They are providing a hugely valuable service to the public and are an inspiration for many of us in how volunteers can play a vital role in local government in these tough times.

With unprecedented reductions in funding from central government, we need to turn to these community groups more than ever to fully or partly run services for the people of this borough.

We would like to hear your views on how you think we could improve the way we run council services by working closer with our friends in the voluntary sector.

Councillor Tim Crumpton, cabinet member with responsibility for community council