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Budget consultation - October 2013

During October, November and the first part of December 2013, you've had the opportunity to have your say on how the council manages its budget reduction.

What is the consultation about?

We've been finding out your views on how we should make savings of an estimated £100 million by 2017. This is roughly 25 per cent of our current budget. These significant savings are needed because of government spending cuts.

This is not an easy task. Think about your household budget. If your income was reduced by a quarter you would have to change what you do and what you spend money on. The council is no different.

So we asked for your views on where we can cut back and the services that are most important to you to help us make these difficult decisions. The consultation closed on Wednesday 11 December 2013. Thank you for taking the time to give us your views.

Why do we have to make these savings?

We've all felt the effects of the financial crisis. This is particularly the case for councils which have faced some of the largest reductions in the public sector. Government funding makes up 49 per cent of our budget. Because of huge reductions in Government grants since 2010, we've already had to save more than £100m.

Many people responded to our consultation when we first faced these cuts, ensuring we understood your top priorities. As a result we managed to make these savings while protecting your top three priorities:

  • Winter gritting and snow clearance
  • Adult social care and child protection
  • capital projects which create jobs

We did this while freezing your council tax payments.

We hoped these savings would be it. But sadly - further major reductions in government grants leave us facing another round of spending cuts in excess of £100m. This means that over a six year period, in total, we will have reduced our budget by 40 per cent.

How have we involved you

During October, November and the first part of December we invited you to have your say in a number of ways.

You could complete an online survey.
You could take part in a group exercise, or complete a paper copy of the survey at one of the Area Action Partnership (AAP) Budget consultation public events.
We have also been talking to special interest groups and our partners during the consultation period to get their views.

The video below shows a public budget consultation in action. It was filmed during Stanley Area Action Partnership's event on Saturday 19 October.

Icon for pdf Durham County Council Budget Consultation: Public Event: Video Transcript (PDF, 198.2kb)

What happens with your responses now the consultation is closed?

Responses have been gathered and analysed. The consultation results were reported through our Cabinet in January 2014.

More than 4,000 people gave their views on potential budget cuts at the public consultation events, online or via other focus groups. 270 board activity based exercises, like the one in the video above, were completed.

What happens next?

The results are being used to inform final decisions on the council's Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for the period through to 2017, ie our budget for this period. The MTFP will be agreed at Full Council in February 2014.

Information about the consultation and the MTFP will be published on our website, in Durham County News and presented at future AAP meetings.

Contact us
Community engagement
03000 263 600
Our address is:
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UF
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