Thousands tell council budget concerns

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Wallasey Town Hall. Pic © Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Wallasey Town Hall. Pic © Wikipedia/Creative Commons

At least 4,000 responses have been received by Wirral Council in the first two weeks of its ‘What Really Matters’ budget consultation.

The consultation has been taking place across Wirral in recent weeks in a bid to get the public to have their say on the budget options for the 2014/2015 year.

The consultation began on the 16th of September to help the council tackle the funding gap of £27.5 million which it is looking to save in the next financial year.

Supermarkets, libraries and community centres are some of the places where people have already had their say on the future of their local services.

Chief Executive of Wirral Council, Graham Burgess explained: “The initial response to the latest round of consultation has been very impressive. People are completing the questionnaire at a much faster rate than we have seen.”

The ‘What Really Matters’ consultation was set up last year and contributed to savings of almost £50 million through areas of administration, marketing, car mileage and phone bills.

Despite saving £48 million last year, further budget cut announcements by the Government have meant the council needs to find additional savings.

Wirral Council need to save £27.5 milion.

Wirral Council needs to save £27.5 milion.

Labour councillor Christina Muspratt, of Bebington, told JMU Journalism: “I think the response is excellent so far, a credit to Wirral residents and Wirral Borough Council staff. It will be very interesting to see the findings from the returns.

“Whilst nothing but central government giving us more money will help us tackle the funding gap, we do need to know what the people of Wirral see as the areas they would wish us to try and protect, as we have huge amounts of money to find from an already very cut budget.”

Lasting twelve weeks the council hope the road-show will help them to understand where the best areas are to consider cuts as it works on setting the budget for the next financial year in December.

To take part in the consultation or to find out more about forthcoming roadshows, visit the Wirral Council website.

About Gemma Sherlock, JMU Journalism