Positive response from public as budget roadshows continue

Telford & Wrekin Council is continuing to visit key locations in the borough to consult with members of the public on hard-hitting budget proposals that will save £30m.

Positive response from public as budget roadshows continue
The coming eight days will see four more roadshows take place, with three in Telford Town Centre and one in Newport.

The council has already received good feedback at the roadshows that have so far taken place, with Friday’s event at Newport Market Hall being particularly well attended.

Later today the council’s budget team will be in the supermarket foyer at the new Asda in Telford Town Centre from 4.30-6..30pm.

Tomorrow sees the tour visit Southwater One between 11am and 1pm and next Tuesday it will be at the Town Centre Bus Station between 9.30am and 11am.

There will also be a roadshow in the foyer of Waitrose in Newport between 12-2pm on Thursday 28 January.

The aim of the roadshows is to gain feedback from local residents on a wide ranging package of cuts that will affect frontline services like never before.

Many of the planned cuts will come into force by April 2017 and they include the Council no longer running community centres, a number of children’s centres and most of its libraries.

Councillor Lee Carter. Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Finance and Service Delivery, said: “I’ve been very encouraged by the positive response from the community that we have received so far. 

“Understandably people are concerned about the possibility of losing local services, particularly libraries, but there is a recognition that we have to make cuts and that the community has a role to play in helping to deliver services the council can no longer afford.”

“We are committed to reaching out and talking face to face to as many people as possible through our ongoing extensive programme of public events until the consultation concludes on February 7.

“We really don’t want to see local services and facilities reducing or stopping so we would urge residents and businesses to come forward and tell us what they think about our plans.”

Residents can give the council feedback by completing an online survey on the council’s website at www.telford.gov.uk/budget

While the budget has almost 200 separate proposals, its main focus is on 32 services with the most significant impact on the public. 

The Council is approaching community organisations to explore how a number of these services could continue from April 2017, run in a new way by different organisations and not the council. The proposals include: 
Closing council run libraries at Dawley, Donnington, Hadley, Madeley, Newport and Stirchley
No council-run youth clubs 
No council-run community centres 
No council-run markets 
Less Council run children’s centres
The Council is also consulting on three possible council tax options.

The first is to “freeze” council tax and implement the 2% “precept” the Government has assumed Telford & Wrekin will put into its Council Tax   to raise extra funds ring fenced for adult social care services. 

This will raise an extra £1.1m a year and lessen the level of cuts to adult social care, but not enough to stop some cuts for this service over the next two years. This will cost a Band B household an extra 34p a week. 

The Council is also asking residents if it should raise council tax to help lessen cuts to key services by an additional 1.2% or 1.9% (over and above the 2% Government assumed adult services precept).