Argyll and Bute Council’s budget consultation will run from Monday 10 October to Friday 25 November and we want to hear about the council services that are important to you.
Although the Council will not set the budget until February, by launching this consultation now your councillors have the opportunity to hear from as many people across our area as possible. This helps the decision making process which will shape how council services are delivered in the future.
Last year the consultation had a real impact on influencing where the council spent its money. You told us that you wanted more money spent on roads, education and social care which we did. In roads we agreed to invest £15m over the next three years, and we protected education and adult care with the lowest reductions in budget of 5.5% and 5.9% over three years. We also agreed to protect front line services by reducing budgets for non essential functions such as travel, subsistence, venue hire and advertising and by increasing fees and charges.
You will be able to take part in the consultation online by going to our website at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk, by attending one of our community planning events or by filling in one of the postcards which will be locally available and putting it in the suggestion box.
Speaking on the consultation Argyll and Bute Council Leader Dick Walsh said, “Your council manages its finances well. However, we know we are going to receive less funding this year and in future years from the Scottish Government. This combined with additional demand pressures from new legislation and from changes in our population mean that we have to look long and hard at the services we offer. I am proud of the high standard of service offered by your council but we know that we won’t be able to provide all the services we did previously. We also know that there will be changes to the way other services are delivered. Last year was the first year we ran a budget consultation and the feedback from communities helped us in the way we structured this year’s budget. This year the Council will again have to take very difficult decisions regarding the way we deliver our services. I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved. It’s only by telling us what services are important to you that we can realise our potential together and take the decisions that will have the least impact on people’s lives.”