We all know that councils are under pressure to do more with less. Like many public sector organisations, budgets have been squeezed yet in many cases demands for services are increasing. Hampshire County Council is no different. The County Council claims that by April 2019 it will be facing an anticipated budget shortfall of £140 million. In an effort to involve local people, they have opened an online consultation about strategic options for balancing the books.
Saving money: the options
The consultation asks for residents’ views on the key options for saving money, which are:
- reducing and changing services
- introducing and increasing charges for some services
- lobbying central Government for legislative change
- generating additional income
- using the County Council’s reserves
- increasing Council Tax
- changing local government arrangements
At each part of the consultation you will be asked if you agree or disagree with the council making changes in this way. For example, reducing services might mean reducing library opening hours, or routine road salting during winter months. Lobbying central Government for legislative change could allow Councils to charge residents to use services such as local Household Waste and Recycling Centres or concessionary bus fares. Changing local government arrangements in Hampshire could mean having fewer councillors and senior managers, reducing back office functions or disposing of surplus buildings and equipment. All of the options are outlined in the Information Pack.
Online and paper options
You can complete the consultation online on the Hampshire County Council website here, as well as view the Information Pack. You can also download and print paper copies of the Information Pack and Response Form or request copies by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0300 555 1375. Paper copies are also available from Hampshire libraries.
The closing date for the consultation is 11:59pm on Monday 21 August 2017. You still have a few weeks to have your say and help influence the future direction of our local area.
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