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Council budget proposals under scrutiny

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Millions of pounds worth of public spending in Dudley will be under scrutiny as part of a series of meetings with senior council officials.

Dudley Council’s overview and scrutiny committees meet during November and top of the agenda is the council’s budget proposals.

This year’s budget proposals include a 2.99 per cent increase in the basic rate of council tax in 2018//19, which equates to just £1 extra a week for most households. There are also plans for a 1.5 per cent increase on top, which will specifically go towards services for older and vulnerable people. But the borough will still have the lowest council tax rate in the West Midlands and one of the lowest in the country.

There are also planned investments in services for older, younger and more vulnerable people, as well as work to tackle fly-tipping and deal with bulky waste.

People will be able to speak at the meetings during a special ‘public forum’ and raise questions about investment and saving proposals which have been put forward. The feedback the council gets will be used to agree a budget in February next year.

The round of meetings starts with the place scrutiny committee on November 13, followed by the children’s services scrutiny committee on November 14.

The health and adult social care scrutiny committee meets on November 21 with the overview and scrutiny management board completing the cycle on November 28. They all start at 6pm and take place at Dudley Council House, Priory Road.

Corporate Scrutiny also takes place on November 15 and will start at 6.30pm at the Council House in Dudley.

Councillor Pete Lowe, leader of Dudley Council, said:

It’s very important we give people every opportunity to have their say in how money is allocated to services for them. The scrutiny process is vital in making sure the right decisions are made and that people are at the heart of those decisions. “The committees are set up on a cross-party basis, operate in an open and transparent way and hold decision-takers to account. As well as scrutinising the budget proposals, the committees will continue their work to review other key policies and service issues. “Feedback from scrutiny meetings will be reported to the cabinet before the full council makes a final decision on the revenue budget and council tax in February.”

Details of the agenda items for the meetings can be viewed online at the link below or alternatively contact the council on 01384 815238 http://cmis.dudley.gov.uk/cmis5/Meetings.aspx

The council will also be consulting on the budget proposals as part of the Big Question which starts at the end of November. People will be able to comment online as well as pick up a hard copy in libraries, leisure centres and Dudley Council Plus, later this month.

A copy of the budget proposals can be found here

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