Tough decisions lie ahead for the people of Walsall as residents are asked to help the Council decide how to make savings of £85 million over the next four years.
With hard times ahead the cuts being suggested for the next financial year 2016/17 are being described as the prelude to the perfect storm for the years following.
Residents are being asked to play their part in the decision making process by having their say on council spending priorities which will be open until 22 November and draft budget proposals that if approved, would affect front line services.
Consultation on a broad range of council spending priorities and draft budget proposals is open to anyone who lives, works, studies, visits or does business in the borough.
Councillor Mike Bird, Leader of Walsall Council, said: “The level of pressure to sustain our essential public services is unprecedented and is set to continue into not just the coming year but into the future.
“The consultations that are taking place are there so that residents can do their bit to help us make these difficult decisions. We are not just talking about how money is spent, it’s about committing to the hard decisions that need to be made and understanding the outcomes.”
People can find out more and have their say now by completing the online survey at www.walsall.gov.uk/budgethaveyoursay or by calling 01922 653644. Services affected by the draft budget proposals will also be consulting service users and other important community groups and organisations, with the aim of better understanding the potential impact of the proposals and to invite alternative ideas for how the savings could be made. Consultation on draft budget proposals is open now until the end of the year.
The 2016/17 budget has yet to be decided and all the information received will be fed back to help shape the final proposals which will go before full council for approval in February next year.