14 December 2010

Walsall Council - Budget 2011/2012

I am currently researching for a blog on this to be published in the New Year (before the meeting!) but in the meantime I thought some might find the following e-mail I received interesting. Anyone can make a contribution and I urge you to do so. I'm sure that many people can suggest many different ways that our council could save money!

Dear Sir or Madam,

Involving you in deciding Walsall Council’s budget options 2011/12

Between September and November we have been gathering the views of local people specifically asking what should be the councils spending priorities for the coming financial year. By holding and attending meetings, speaking to people, inviting comment and running our Budget Simulator on our website, we have gathered the views of over 500 people. Our report of findings detailing the feedback from this initial phase of budget consultation is now available on our website. The report also contains the results of our Budget Simulator. This feedback, as well as other information helps us plan our resources effectively and ensures that the services we provide are what local people want and need most. Council’s throughout England are facing unprecedented budget cuts which mean hard decisions have to be made.

Consultation on our Draft Budget Options for 2011/12

The Cabinet report of 17 November 2010 presents the first draft revenue budget options for 2011/12. It explains our four year savings programme, the challenges we face as well as the council’s medium term financial outlook. Appendix 2 and 3 detail our specific proposals. The Cabinet report and appendix 2 and 3 are available on our website easy read versions of the information are also available here.

We are now consulting on the draft budget options as set out in the 17 November 2010 Cabinet report. The final budget will be approved in February 2011 by full Council, so between now and then you can have you say and influence these decisions.

When considering the draft proposals please ensure that you consider all aspects of council services and not just those you are familiar with or use. Our proposals touch all services and see savings of approximately £17m in 2010/11 with further savings being made in the following 3 years.

Having read the Cabinet report and other information we ask the following questions;

1. Do you agree or disagree with the draft budget options?

2. Which proposal(s), if any, do you AGREE with and why?

3. Which proposal(s), if any, do you NOT AGREE with and why?

Remember this is your chance to put your views forward before the final budget is agreed. Your response should be submitted to us by Friday 31 December 2010. You may respond as an individual or as a group using online response from available via this short link http://bit.ly/ijXWKj

You can also email us budgetconsultation@walsall.gov.uk or write to; Budget Consultation, Walsall Council, Civic Centre, Walsall WS1 1TP. When writing or emailing us please answer the three questions above.

Alternatively text the words ‘walsall budget’ followed by your message to 60003.

If you would like any further information about budget consultation please contact Anna Sansom on 01922 653520 sansomanna@walsall.gov.uk If you would like more information on the draft budget options please contact Stuart Wootton on 01922 653554 email woottons@walsall.gov.uk

We look forward to receiving your response.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Chris Towe

Cabinet Member for Finance and Personnel

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