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Joining the Big Budget Conversation

Published: 01/09/2014

Hundreds of people have so far taken part in Flintshire County Councils Big Budget Conversation, speaking out about local council services and joining in the debate about the difficult choices ahead. The Council is currently preparing for between a 1.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent cut in its funding from Welsh Government for next year. At 1.5 per cent the Council would need to find savings of £12m to meet the budget gap. If the cut is as large as 4.5 per cent, the gap grows by £6m and then savings of £18m will need to be found. Council Leader Aaron Shotton thanked all those so far who have filled in a form seeking peoples views, which appears in the Councils new e-magazine and on-line. Ninety-four per cent of nearly 400 people who have so far filled in the form say we should all speak up, so that national and Welsh governments understand our concerns about the risks to local services. Its encouraging that so many people have taken the time to let us know their views and the message from them is loud and clear. To meet unprecedented budget pressures big choices will eventually have to be made including prioritising some services over others, reducing or even stopping some services, expecting people to travel further for a service, expecting people to pay more where there is currently a charge and introducing new charges for services which are free. All Council services will come under scrutiny including education, social services, leisure services, libraries and waste collections. Councillor Shotton added: We hope people will continue to take part in the debate over the coming weeks and help plan the future with us as we prepare to make big choices next year and in the years to come. Available on the Councils web site until 12 September, the form asks people whether or not they support some of the choices that will need to be made in the future. It asks if more services should be merged with neighbouring councils; should more services be owned and run by local people and should town and community councils and local communities be asked to do more. People can join the conversation by visiting where they can also subscribe to the Council’s new e-magazine or follow the conversation on Twitter @FlintshireCC. Paper copies of the form are available from libraries, Connects Centres or other council reception areas. The closing date, on-line and by post is Friday 12 September. In late Autumn a series of public consultations are being planned to share options for the future and the budget choices. The dates and locations of these events will be widely publicised. The outcomes of the conversation will be published later in the year on the Council’s website and in the Council’s e-magazine.