Early in the New Year councillors will have to set a budget for the next financial year (2019/20) and as part of this process the council is asking residents, businesses and community groups for their views as to what it could look like.
There are a number of different ways to get involved :
- Take the budget challenge at york.budgetsimulator.com, where you can find more information and where you can give feedback.
- Complete the survey in Our City (the resident’s newsletter), distributed to households throughout October or available at West Offices or libraries.
- Come along to a drop-in session at West Offices on Tuesday 20 November, between 5pm and 7pm.
The online consultation will close on Friday 30 November and all printed questionnaire responses from Our City will need to be received by Friday 23 November.
The ways in which the council funds itself are at a crossroads: the financial support the council receives from central government (in the form of revenue support grant and business rates income) has been substantially cut in recent years, from 40 per cent of its net budget in 2012/13 to only 28 per cent this year. By 2020 the council won’t receive any government grant at all and will be entirely funded by council tax and business rates income.
Councillor Ian Gillies, Leader of City of York Council said:
“People in York can help us prioritise our spending over the coming year. We need to save £4m, which is a huge challenge given the fact that the council has already saved over £105m in the past decade.
“At the same time we need to meet the changing needs of our city and to manage increases in demand. For instance, the cost of adult social care services continues to rise year on year as our population gets older.
“Setting the budget is undeniably complex, so this year we’ve launched an online budget stimulator to help residents visualise the impact financial choices have on delivering council services.
“It’s so important that as many people as possible get involved and have their say. We know there are lots of differing views and we want to hear them.”