East Devon District Council is urging residents to fill in a ‘Careful Choices’ questionnaire – being distributed next week to help it bridge a £2.7m finding gap.
It says, it faces a difficult financial situation and going forward will need to make ‘careful choices’. It anticipates having to deal with the funding gap over the next four years.
In a statement issued today, the council said: “Budgets have decreased due to cuts in central government funding and over the last decade, the council has lost 60p in every £1 of government funding.
“These reductions, coupled with rising demands on our services, continue to impact on everything we do. ‘Careful Choices’ is about achieving a shared understanding of the services which the council has to provide even though the Government is no longer funding them.
“It is also about protecting as best we can other services which people care most about. The council wants your help to make these choices, so we’re asking for your views to help inform decision making by the council.”
The authority has already taken ‘significant steps’ to deal with the reductions in its finances. Compared with 10 years ago, it has reduced the cost of running services by a total of £4.4 million. It is also making progress towards bridging the funding gap by:
- actively assessing commercial investment opportunities and ways we can create income from the assets we own;
- generating more income through services such as green waste collections;
- making organisational changes to ensure we are ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver the Council Plan;
- going digital to deliver services as cost effectively as possible.
The statement added: “We’re confident that together we can make these ‘careful choices’.
East Devon District Council questionnaire
“We’d like you to take part by completing a questionnaire about our services and from next week (Monday, January 13) the consultation will be available to complete on our website at www.eastdevon.gov.uk/
If you would like a printed version of the questionnaire, please contact Jamie Buckley on 01395 517569 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The questionnaire is also being sent, by post, to 3,000 randomly selected East Devon households.
The consultation will close at 5pm on Monday 9 March 2020. The results will be used to help inform decision making about the services and how they are run.
Councillor Ben Ingham, Leader of the council, said: “These are challenging times for all councils and we are committed to doing everything we can to help lessen the impact of budgetary constraints. It is only by choosing carefully and working together that we will be able to make sure we protect the services we value most.”