How do you think Calderdale Council money should be spent, and what do you think our priorities should be for the future?
Now is the chance to have your say, as the Council’s budget consultation gets underway, with the name ‘Your Council, Your Voice’.
Increasing pressure is being put on our budgets. By 2018/19 we think we will need to make further savings of over £20 million (about £213 per household in Calderdale). This is on top of the £86 million of cuts that we’ll have made by 2016/17 since 2010.
Plus, our funding from central government is expected to be cut by a further 12.4% by 2017/18. This is in addition to the 28.2% reduction since 2010.
Calderdale Council’s Leader, Cllr Tim Swift, says:
“We need to make plans for how we will cope with these growing pressures, so we are asking people if they think we’ve got our spending priorities right. We urge you to have your say – your answers will help us to make difficult budget decisions that affect everyone. Don’t miss your chance to make an impact.”
You can have your say on:
- Where we should focus our resources and spend your money
- What services we should invest in
- How services could be run differently
- How you might want to get involved in helping us to do some of this
Cllr Swift adds:
“Calderdale is a fantastic place, and we’re proud of the part the Council plays to make it special despite having faced big cuts. Throughout this time, we have worked hard to protect our frontline services for residents and meet the needs of our businesses, commuters, students and tourists.”
For example, we are using new technology so people can get more services online; recruiting more local foster carers saving £800,000; recycling over 60% of your waste which saves £1 million over three years; and giving vulnerable adults more say over what services they get and allowing them to stay independent in their own homes. We are investing in the magnificent Piece Hall, a new Central Library and Archive and a range of highways improvements for Calderdale.
We want Calderdale to stay fantastic and be a place where people are prosperous, healthy and safe, supported by excellent services. We aim to achieve this vision by focusing on six key areas:
- Growth: Driving economic development and enterprise, e.g. good jobs in local businesses.
- Ambition: Raising aspiration and achievement for all our residents, e.g. supporting young people to find jobs.
- Resilience: Supporting personal, community and environmental resilience, e.g. lots of volunteers supporting communities across Calderdale.
- Sustainability: Managing demand and investing for the future, e.g. providing advice on healthy eating and how to prevent crime.
- Efficiency: Delivering efficiency and effectiveness in public services, e.g. making it easy to access our services in person, on the phone or online.
- Fairness: Reducing inequalities and tackling disadvantage, e.g. addressing differences in life expectancy and educational attainment.
There are lots of ways to get involved in the budget consultation:
- Try our Budget Simulator to have a go at balancing the Council budget based on your own priorities. Find out the consequences of increasing or decreasing spend for different services. Visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/yourbudget
- Fill in the questionnaire. We have created a simple survey, structured around the six key areas listed above. You can complete this online or pick one up in a Council building such as your local library, museum or sports centre. Please return your completed questionnaire to a Council building or the Freepost address:
- Go to a public meeting. Throughout September and October we are holding events across Calderdale and visiting schools, markets and other community events to listen to your ideas about our priorities and where the Council’s budget should be spent. You can also share your views at your local Ward Forum.
Please send your views by 31 October 2015. After this, we will use your feedback to prioritise Council spending and where savings need to be made, which will inform our draft budget proposals for consultation in January 2016. Our final budget will be presented to Budget Council in February 2016.
If you’d like to know more, watch our video animation at www.calderdale.gov.uk/yourbudget, email firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up a budget consultation booklet from your nearest Council building.