Council asks locals to make budget cuts

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Town Hall in Liverpool. Photo: Ida Husøy

Town Hall in Liverpool. Photo: Ida Husøy

An online budget simulator has been launched by Liverpool Council encouraging residents to help set the city’s 2014/15 budget.

Locals are being challenged to reduce the budget by £45 million using a series of sliders in various sectors including children’s and adult services, housing and neighbourhoods and tourism, amongst others.

When moving the sliders, users are advised of the consequences of their selected change; for example, when reducing the tourism budget by five per cent, it states that all support activity with the industry would cease, leaving no budget for marketing or other purposes. It also says the city would suffer in terms of economic performance and reputation.

A council spokesman said: “The budget simulator is a chance for people to look at the different areas of spending in the council and suggest which areas they would like us to protect most. We have got to save £156 million over the next three years and have to make some tough and difficult choices, so getting people’s views is absolutely vital.”

The projected targets for the next three years are £45m, £63m and £48m respectively.  This would bring the total saving over a six-year period to £329m.

Mayor Joe Anderson said: “I am anxious that residents, customers and other interested parties get a chance to tell us what their priorities are.

“It is clear that we won’t be able to satisfy everyone due to the vast range of ways in which the council touches people’s lives, but it will at least give us a sense of what our citizens think.”

The simulator is available here until mid-January and also via a mobile app which can be used with smartphones and tablet computers.

The budget for 2014/2015 will be set in March next year.




About Aimée Hamilton, JMU Journalism