Almost 300 responses to council budget consultation

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Nearly 300 people responded to Angus Council’s budget consultation.

The consultation, which ran from November 29 last year to January 7 attracted the views of 282 respondents.

Council leader Bob Myles said he was grateful to those who had taken the time to give their feedback. “Accepting that the number of responses received represents a very small portion of the adult population of Angus the views of nearly 300 people nevertheless gives us a valuable snapshot of public opinion and I am therefore grateful to those who submitted their feedback,” said councillor Myles.

“The purpose of the budget consultation, the first carried out by the council, was to let people know about the financial challenges we face and the measures we may have to consider to address them.

“As importantly we also wanted to make residents aware of the priority areas that we and our community planning partners have agreed to focus on in the next few years.”

Councillor Myles said the feedback received indicated a broad agreement with both the priorities set out and the savings approach the council was proposing.

“Of those who responded 57 per cent (155 people) agreed with the five priority areas the council, police, health and fire and rescue agencies and our other community planning partners, plan to focus our increasingly limited resources on, in the coming years. Of the remaining responses 18 per cent (49 people) disagreed with and 25 per cent (69 people) indicated that they were not sure about, the priorities.

“In relation to the budget proposals 49 per cent (103 people) agreed that the approach being considered by the council to deliver the savings needed for 2011/12 is the correct one. Of the remaining responses 26 per cent (62 people) disagreed and 30 per cent (70 people) indicated that they were not sure about the proposed approach.

“The council also asked residents if they would be willing to pay more council tax to help protect essential council services and of those who responded 55 per cent were against the idea and 45 per cent were in favour.

“171 of the 282 respondents also submitted comments and suggestions for further savings and these, along with the survey results, are being considered by all elected members as we continue to work on this year’s budget, in preparation for the budget setting meeting on 10 February.”

Councillor Myles said the consultation had been a very valuable exercise. “From now on public consultation will be an integral part of our budget setting process. The council has to find ways of delivering £23 million of savings by 2014 and it is vital that we continue to speak to residents about how that might be done.”

The survey findings are available online at www.angus.gov.uk/budgetfeedback .