Views coming in on Council budget
Local residents are giving the City Council a very clear indication of their views on how the budget for the coming financial year should be spent.
The Council meets to set its budget and level of Council Tax for the 2013/14 financial year on February 21st and comments can be accepted up until then.
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Council Leader Paul James, commented: "We are currently consulting with the community at large in the city on what their views are. Once we have those views we will be putting our budget before the council.
"The responses so far are giving us some very clear indications of what people think and we will be putting the finishing touches to our budget with those views in mind. I am very pleased that people are taking the opportunity to engage with us in this way and there is still time for more people to take part."
Around 400 people have already responded to the City Council. Their views so far indicate that:
- 88% support a freeze on council tax
- 65% want to see a reduction in the budget for refuse, recycling, street cleaning and grounds maintenance.
- 66% would be happy to see grass in some parks and open spaces left to grow longer
- 63% would object to a move to fortnightly recycling
- 44% of people think parking charges are about right
- 88% of people support the proposal to cut management costs within the Council
- 82% believe that property developers should be charged for the advice they get from council officers.
He went on: "Over the last three years we have had to save some £6 million from our budget and we said then that it would be followed by the need of further savings of this magnitude this year. We have to make savings of £1.8 million and we have identified potential areas amounting to £2.4 million.
" We have a five year money plan – a programme for how we are managing our finances – and this saving was always part of that scenario. Councils across the country are having to make their contribution to reducing the national budget deficit. We are not exempt from that but our proposals are designed to protect front line services that people tell us are important to them to the best of our ability."
It's not too late to take part in the Council's consultation - an on-line survey can be found at www.gloucester.gov.uk – there are six chances to win £20 to thank those who complete the survey.