Stockport Council is encouraging residents to have their say on a number of proposed changes to Stockport Council’s budget in areas such as waste, low emission permits and Council Tax Discount.
Consultations will run until 21st December and residents can find further information and have their say here
The consultations follow an Executive meeting on the Medium Term Financial Plan where the Executive set out savings proposals for next year’s budget – to save £28millon over the next two years, £60million in the next five years. More information can be found from the Executive.
This is to address the big continued reductions in Stockport’s government grant. It means that difficult decisions will need to be made in order to balance the budget, which is a legal requirement. It is also to prepare the Council to be financially self-reliant in the coming years, when funding from the central government will stop.
Between 2010 and 2020, the Council will have reduced spending by well over £100million following cuts in government funding.
The Executive have therefore also set out new initiatives which will help grow Stockport’s economy, support local communities and further reform public services.
These are underpinned by a series of principles that will guide future decisions:
• The need for the Council to become financially self-sufficient by 2020
• Being open about what service performance standards are acceptable, resourcing accordingly and being clear about the impact
• A focus on inclusion, fairness and helping the most vulnerable
• Maximising income to protect vital services
• A new approach to joined-up local services
• Design in digital solutions and self-service wherever possible
These will ensure the Council can continue to serve the residents of Stockport as best it can in the face of the severe financial pressures we face.
Councillor Alex Ganotis, Leader at Stockport Council, said: “We would like to encourage residents to get involved and have their say on proposed changes to Stockport Council’s budget within waste, low emission permits and Council Tax Discount.
“In order for the Council to fund services through locally raised income, we need to reduce spend in certain areas and change the way we work in order to grow the Council’s income streams.
“A massive part of our work is to encourage the growth of our borough by identifying opportunities to attract investment and bring new jobs to Stockport.
“We are now entering the most difficult period in the Council’s history as a result of these financial pressures. It’s an understatement to say that we recognise not everyone will be happy with the decisions we take. But we are committed to working with residents to ensure we do what is right for our borough.”
Residents are also being encouraged to engage with the budget process through their Scrutiny and local Area Committees, where they can comment on what is being proposed.
Free internet access is available in local libraries.