Budget fails to stir up interest

This Is Wiltshire: Bridget Coady uses the Dial-A-Ride service, which is one of those facing funding cuts Bridget Coady uses the Dial-A-Ride service, which is one of those facing funding cuts

SWINDON Council has received only 17 responses in a public consultation on the Conservative administration’s draft budget proposals, which aim to plug an estimated £16m gap in the 2013/14 budget.

In December, the cabinet revealed its draft budget proposals, which set out how it intends to deal with £4.7m in assumed reduced funding, £3.5m in inflation and £7.9m of other cost pressures, including increased demand for services, particularly caring services.

The document, which was out to public consultation until Friday, outlines £13.2m of savings.

But more measures to save a further £3m – £4m, including the axing of at least 50 more posts, are set to be identified in a report to be published this week.

The draft document, which was the subject of consultation, includes savings of just over £2m, year-on-year, from the deletion of 70 council posts before April, It also includes the removal of a £20,000 grant for the street outreach service provided by homelessness charity, Threshold Housing Link, a £70,000 cut to the community transport budget, the accelerated closure of three car parks, and a £2m reduction in the road resurfacing budget.

However, the council only received 17 responses from individuals and organisations in the consultation.

And council leader Rod Bluh said he did not receive any correspondence from the public on the proposals.

He said: “Because we’re getting this year-on-year freeze in council tax people have stopped taking interest.

He said the lack of engagement was not helpful to those who have to make the decisions almost in isolation.

“As politicians we’re having to make bigger and bigger decisions.

“Many of the decisions quite frankly we wouldn’t wish to be making. We’re doing the best we can to make the best of the situation – we’ve got to protect the vulnerable and help services.

“People should be more engaged because they need to understand the significance of what’s going to happen over the years to come.”

Comments (6)

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3:07pm Wed 30 Jan 13

StillPav says...

A link to the document on Swindon's local newspaper website might help encourage participation?
A link to the document on Swindon's local newspaper website might help encourage participation? StillPav
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Wed 30 Jan 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

I think the link may have been in the original news article.

I remember looking at it and make a comment on the adver article.


The reason most people are disengaged is because successive government and local councils have demonstrated nothing but contempt for the electorate with all the lie's spin and general rubbish they seem so intent on arguing about. All parties are guilty of this.
I think the link may have been in the original news article. I remember looking at it and make a comment on the adver article. The reason most people are disengaged is because successive government and local councils have demonstrated nothing but contempt for the electorate with all the lie's spin and general rubbish they seem so intent on arguing about. All parties are guilty of this. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Sashstaff says...

Indeed, making it clear that opnions are welcome and who to contact would also help.
I've lost count of the number of times I've approached my MP (Justin Tomlinson) and received little more a vague answer or even just a standard letter of reply!
Indeed, making it clear that opnions are welcome and who to contact would also help. I've lost count of the number of times I've approached my MP (Justin Tomlinson) and received little more a vague answer or even just a standard letter of reply! Sashstaff
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Wed 30 Jan 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Link to budget.

www.swindon.gov.uk/b
udgetconsultation
Link to budget. www.swindon.gov.uk/b udgetconsultation LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Bimbosforjustice says...

I emailed Justin Tomlinson about this and many things. The man is totally useless
I emailed Justin Tomlinson about this and many things. The man is totally useless Bimbosforjustice
  • Score: 0

9:32pm Wed 30 Jan 13

house on the hill says...

Would it really make a difference if people did share thier views? Politicians of all colour are just in it for themsleves so a complete waste of time. They could save £3-4million a year by geting rid of the useless staff and running the place just with the ones they actually need without all the endless overpaid managers non job holders, dead wood and sicknotes. Most council staff wouldnt last a week in the private sector where the customer is king and you have a little thing called competition for your services and real pressure and responsibilty for your actions. stick them all on performance related pay and the reward the ones who do actually work hard, that would slash the wage bill considerably!
Would it really make a difference if people did share thier views? Politicians of all colour are just in it for themsleves so a complete waste of time. They could save £3-4million a year by geting rid of the useless staff and running the place just with the ones they actually need without all the endless overpaid managers non job holders, dead wood and sicknotes. Most council staff wouldnt last a week in the private sector where the customer is king and you have a little thing called competition for your services and real pressure and responsibilty for your actions. stick them all on performance related pay and the reward the ones who do actually work hard, that would slash the wage bill considerably! house on the hill
  • Score: 0

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