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Council to hold public budget workshops and meet with local groups

14 November 2017

People of all ages and backgrounds are being urged to have their say as part of Bridgend County Borough Council’s ongoing budget consultation.

The council will be meeting with community groups and staging public events as well as a budget Q&A session on Twitter and Facebook to find out what services local residents think should be prioritised in 2018-19.

The consultation is designed to help the council deliver a balanced budget that protects essential services while reflecting the views of as many householders, groups and organisations as possible.

To help achieve this, Deputy Leader Hywel Williams and senior council officers will host a special budget social media Q&A event on Facebook and Twitter between 6.30pm-8pm on Wednesday 22 November.

This will be followed by public budget workshops at Bridgend Life Centre between 6pm-8pm on Thursday 23 November, at the Y Centre in Porthcawl between 2pm-4pm on Friday 24 November, and at Ogmore Valley Life Centre between 3.30pm-5.30pm on 30 November.

The council will also be holding separate meetings with Bridgend Shout, Bridgend Youth Council, Maesteg-based over-50s group Shedquarters and members of Bridgend Business Forum, and has produced a simplified version of the consultation survey specifically for younger residents.

The consultation surveys can be found at www.bridgend.gov.uk/future, and residents can request hard copies by visiting libraries, emailing consultation@bridgend.gov.uk or calling 01656 643664.

Alternative formats are available on request, and everyone who completes the questionnaire will be entered into a draw to win opening night family panto tickets at Porthcawl’s Grand Pavilion, and a year’s free membership with Halo Leisure.                                                                                   

The consultation is taking place amid warnings from Bridgend County Borough Council that some services are going to have to bear the impact of successive years of reduced funding, and that a rise in council tax is inevitable in 2018-19.

By downsizing, finding creative new ways to deliver services, reducing the frequency of some services, and cutting others altogether, the council has already covered a £36m shortfall in the amount of money provided by central Government via Welsh Government.

But the authority estimates it will need to save a further £35m by 2020 – taking the total amount that it will have had to cover up to a massive £71m.

Council Leader Huw David said: “People need to realise just what an impact this is going to have on services that many of us take for granted.

“Our consultation is designed to help identify the areas that people feel most strongly about so we can develop proposals that reflect their views as closely as possible. For example, should we spend less on subsidised public transport in order to focus on the record numbers of vulnerable children and older people that we are currently supporting?

“Some very stark choices lay ahead, and this is why we need local people of all ages and backgrounds to take part in the budget consultation.”

Deputy Leader Hywel Williams added: “We want residents of Bridgend County Borough to help us deliver a balanced budget that accurately reflects their views. The budget consultation is your chance to influence the final form of the budget for 2018-19.

“Whether you do this by attending one of the public budget workshops or filling in the online questionnaire, don’t miss your chance to have your say and help us shape the budget for 2018-19.”

Residents can fill in the consultation questionnaire online at www.bridgend.gov.uk/future or request a hard copy by visiting libraries, emailing consultation@bridgend.gov.uk or calling 01656 643664. Alternative formats are available on request and the response deadline is Sunday3 December 2017.

Last Updated: 20/11/2017
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