Council bosses in Walsall have launched their budget consultation as they start to prepare proposals that will save £85 million over the next four years.
Phase one of the budget consultation asks borough residents and businesses which services they would choose to protect, reduce or cease.
From 1-29 September 2014, council staff will be available at the First Stop Shop and libraries to capture people’s feedback - exact dates, times and venues can be found at www.walsall.gov.uk/budgethaveyoursay.
Councillor Sean Coughlan, Leader of Walsall Council, said: “The council has already saved £75 million over the last 4 years and I’m sure there are more efficiencies still to be made – but realistically we are going to need fundamental changes in the way local services are provided.
“We need help in making some difficult decisions. This could be the toughest year yet of savings.
“Some services will remain, some will be run differently and some will have to cease. Some things that have been free we may need to charge for and where there are already charges these may increase.
“This isn’t going to be easy for us and I know that Walsall people won’t all be happy with every decision we make.
“That’s why I’m launching the budget consultation now. We need to know the priorities of our residents and businesses.”
Councillor Keith Chambers, portfolio holder for personnel and business support, added: “We’ll be working harder than ever to make Walsall a better place for everyone.
“With less money and fewer staff we can’t do it all. But we’ll try to find the best deal for Walsall people with what we’ve got.”
People can have their say now by completing the online budget consultation survey at www.walsall.gov.uk/budgethaveyoursay.
Over the coming weeks face-to-face consultation will take place in the First Stop Shop and libraries with dates and times to be announced in local newspapers and at www.walsall.gov.uk/budgethaveyoursay.
In phase two of the budget consultation, when the draft budget proposals are published, Walsall Council will be seeking the comments of residents and businesses through to February 2015.