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6 - Big Question reminder

councillor david sparks

People are being reminded to have their say on £25 million proposed savings at Dudley Council in this year’s Big Question budget consultation.

Hundreds of people have already gone online to fill in this year’s Big Question budget consultation.

There are now more ways than ever before for people to have their say on the budget, including the online Big Question as well as a series of scrutiny committees, community forum meetings and public-led workshops.

All responses will be taken into consideration before a decision is taken by full council in March next year.

The council has put forward radical proposals to remodel the way it delivers services to find the millions of pounds needed, amid unprecedented reductions in government funding.

The savings are in response to the £76 million reduction in government funding since 2010, which is forecast to rise to more than £92 million over the next three years.

With the continued, unprecedented reductions in funding from central government, major changes to the way services are designed and delivered are central to the council balancing the books and saving millions of pounds, as well as ensuring essential front line services continue to run.

The council’s cabinet is proposing a 3.99 per cent increase in council tax, which includes a 2 per cent precept for adult social care, (equivalent to 90p per week for a band D property), which will raise an additional £4 million annual income. Despite this proposed increase, borough residents will continue to pay one of the lowest rates of council tax in the country.

Councillor David Sparks, cabinet member for finance, said:

“It is really important people take the time to let us have their thoughts by filling in the Big Question consultation so that we can make an informed decision.

“Almost 400 people have already had their say in just a couple of weeks, but there is still a long way to go.

“This is just the beginning of a thorough and transparent consultation period giving people the opportunity to let us know how these proposed savings will impact their lives and how they can work with us to ensure services continue to be delivered.”

In the budget report, savings of £18 million are proposed for 2017/18, moving up to £23 million by 2018/19 and £25 million by 2019/20. But the report forecasts there will still be a deficit of £9 million by 2019/20 if additional savings are not found.

The next round of community forums runs throughout January giving people the opportunity to fill in the consultation.

Hard copies of the consultation are also available in libraries and leisure centres across the borough.

The consultation runs until February 10 before a decision is made at a meeting of the full council on March 6 next year.

A full copy of the budget report and Big Question budget consultation can be found at www.dudley.gov.uk or by clicking here

News Release Contact Information

Chris Howes - 01384 815232 - pressoffice@dudley.gov.uk