Have your say on county council’s planned cuts worth £67 million

Shire Hall, Warwick. NNL-161201-211317009
Shire Hall, Warwick. NNL-161201-211317009

Warwickshire residents are being invited to have their say on what matters to them most after the county council announced budget cuts worth £67 million.

The talks aim to give people a chance to talk to council staff and voice their opinions.

An online budget calculator will be launched on Monday September 26 to allow people to ‘understand the scale of the financial challenge’.

The planned cuts aim to save £67 million by 2020 , and were announced by Warwickshire County Council on Thursday September 22.

A spokesman for the council claimed ‘extreme financial challenges’ from reduction in Government grants, inflation and new pressures on services were the reasons for the planned cuts.

In a statement made at the meeting, leader of the council Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: “We have always been open about the scale of challenges facing the County Council. We have already been through a difficult period and have had to make some difficult decisions.

“We have not shied away from these and I must pay testament to our staff who have stepped up to the plate, found solutions that have worked and delivered good services to support the people of Warwickshire.

“At the heart of our decision making have been the key principles of fairness, equality and providing the best services we can for those who need them most.

“We now need to identify around a further £67 million worth of savings over the next 3 years. This £67 million arises from reductions in Government grant, inflation and additional demographic pressures.

“This means shaping the future of a very different County Council and different public service provision in Warwickshire by 2020.

“Everything we do is on behalf of and impacts on the people of Warwickshire and we need to have a conversation with people about their priorities, hopes and fears, challenges and ambitions.

“After this meeting, we will be going out to talk to people around the county, we want to open up a conversation with our communities – to talk about the scale of the issues we face, including opening up an online budget calculator which allows people to have a go at creating the council budget.

“We will also be talking to our staff about how this might affect them and how we can work together to deliver services differently in the future. In order to do this, we need to know what people value.

“By taking these difficult decisions and investing in the future, I am confident that we will meet this challenge and be successful in making Warwickshire the best it can be.”

Talks will be given in the Clock Towers shopping centre in Rugby on Wednesday September 28 from 1pm to 3pm; at Warwick Market on Saturday October 1 from 10am to 12 noon, and at Warwickshire College in Leamington on Monday October 3 from 11.30am to 1.30pm.