Herefordshire Council has today (Friday 24 July) launched its priorities and budget consultation for 2016/17 and is asking residents to participate and have their say.
The joint priorities and budget consultation will run until Friday 9 October and is asking residents to first of all rate the council’s priorities in terms of what they believe are the most and least important areas we should focus our resources on.
We are also asking participants to prioritise the council’s income and savings proposals from those which should be implemented first compared to last in order to reduce spending, generate income and balance our budget.
Additionally, we’re asking a specific question on increasing council tax above 2%. A countywide referendum would be required, costing approximately £300,000.
Councillor Tony Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “All councils across the country need to significantly reduce their budgets and make unprecedented changes to services because of substantial reductions in government funding and Herefordshire Council is no different.
“In Herefordshire, this comes at a time when we’re facing unavoidable increases in costs and demand for services, particularly in areas such as children, young people and adult social care, which are also being affected by substantial welfare reform changes.
“In simple terms, we can no longer continue to pay for all the services we have traditionally provided, therefore we must prioritise the services we provide and review how we provide them. This means we may need to radically reduce or completely stop providing certain services in order to balance our budget.
“I welcome residents’ views on whether or not we should hold a referendum to raise council tax above 2% and how we can reduce spending, generate income and prioritise our services. The information we receive will help to guide our decisions to ensure we deliver the right services whilst balancing our budget.”
As part of the consultation, we will be visiting a number of locations across the county to answer any questions residents may have about our priorities, budget and services. All of our events will run from 10am to 2pm.
Bromyard: The Bromyard Centre
Thursday 13 August
Thursday 1 October
Hereford: High Town
Wednesday 5 August
Wednesday 23 September
Hereford: The Old Market
Friday 4 September
Kington: Place de Marines
Friday 14 August
Friday 11 September
Ledbury: Charter Market
Tuesday 4 August
Tuesday 22 September
Leominster: Corn Square
Friday 7 August
Friday 18 September
Ross-on-Wye: Market Hall
Thursday 6 August
Thursday 24 September
There is also the opportunity to have your say at an informal drop in event at The Garron Centre in Llangarron on Sunday 6 September from 3pm to 6pm. This event has been kindly arranged by Councillor Elissa Swinglehurst.
We will also be holding four question and answer sessions on Twitter and Facebook.
Thursday 30 July 5pm – 6pm
Monday 14 September 6pm – 7pm
Wednesday 5 August 5pm – 6pm
Monday 21 September 6pm – 7pm
To find out more and participate in the consultation, please visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/budgetconsultation2016.