York’s residents and businesses can have their say on the council’s future spending plans over the next few weeks.
The results of the 2018 citywide budget consultation will help set the council’s financial priorities for the forthcoming year.
Despite already achieving savings of over £100m in the last decade through a combination of efficiency savings and reviewing the services it provides, the authority needs to make further savings of £6.1m in 2018/19 and £4.2m in 2019/20 to meet its budget.
Against this tough financial backdrop, demand for services continues to rise; mainly due to demographic changes and more people living longer. At the same time the financial support received from central government has been reduced.
The central government grant accounted for 40 per cent of the council’s income in 2012/13 but fell to just seven per cent last year. By 2020, York will receive no government grant. That means the services the council provides will have to be funded from a share of business rates, from the council tax and through any fees and costs it charges.
Council leaders hope that the responses to the questionnaire will help guide future spending decisions, particularly whether the authority should ‘balance its books’ by:
- Reducing the number of services it provides, or stop providing them altogether.
- Finding ways of providing services more efficiently by working differently.
- Charging more for services.
- Increasing the amount of council tax.
People can put forward their views:
- Online at www.york.gov.uk/consultations
- By completing the survey in the council’s publication Our City [which is being distributed over the course of the next two weeks].
- By popping along to one of four drop-in sessions, where 2 x Executive Members will be available at:
Huntington Library on Wednesday 1 November;
Archbishop Holgate’s School on Thursday 2 November;
Acomb Explore Library on Tuesday 7 November
West Offices on Wednesday 8 November, all between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.
The online consultation will close on Friday 15 December. All printed questionnaire responses from Our City must be received by Friday 1 December.