Budget consultation - September 2015
In early 2016, we will need to finalise our plans for next year's budget. We would like your views on our approach to reducing our spending, including any significant changes in your neighbourhood over the past year that might impact on our approach. We are also asking you to let us know how we can encourage more people to come forward and help run local services.
Over the last few years we have carried out several consultations, asking you how we should address the challenge of reducing our annual budget. We currently estimate this reduction will be at least £260 million by 2020 (compared to our 2011/2012 budget.)
We have already made reductions of £153 million, mainly by cutting non-frontline services and making efficiency savings. A further £107 million, as a minimum, has to be saved by 2020, and avoiding impacts on frontline services will be increasingly difficult. Working with communities and local organisations to protect services has become even more important.
What you've told us
In 2013, we asked you for your views on how we could make further reductions to our budgets between 2014 and 2017. You identified those services we should try to protect and those that could have larger cuts to help achieve the savings.
In 2014, 65% of you told us that nothing significant had changed in your area and there was a good understanding of the scale of the financial challenge. 93% of you told us that we should explore opportunities for local organisations to manage council facilities or services as being promoted through The Durham Ask.
Have your say
Managing the reductions continues to be extremely difficult and before we finalise plans for next year's budget, we want to give you the opportunity to tell us of any changes in your area that you feel we should consider, as well as comment on our approach.
The closing date for comments/completed surveys was Friday 30 October 2015.
We are talking to various interest groups as well as networks and forums we engage on a regular basis such as the Local Council's Working Group.
What happens next?
The findings of this consultation will inform the draft budget proposals for 2016/17 that will be presented to Cabinet on 16 December 2015. Immediately following, a further phase of consultation will be carried out with the public and partner prior to Cabinet's further consideration of the budget proposal on 10 February 2016. We will publish the feedback and decision here.
We need more communities to come forward and take over the management of council run facilities and services, if we are to meet the scale of reductions necessary and maintain local services. We need your help to shape the type of support we offer through The Durham Ask and ideas about how to encourage more communities to work with us to transfer these facilities and services.