Residents' given say on 'people's budget'

Residents are to have their say on a "people's budget" unveiled by Scarborough Council to save millions of pounds based on 1,500 ideas from the public.

A reduction in Government grant funding has forced the council to look at cutting more than 2m from the budget in the next financial year alone, resulting in 60 job losses.

However, the proposals for 2011/12, due to be approved by full council in February, are designed to protect front line services and have drawn up in response to suggestions by residents in the local area budget survey.

Almost 1,500 responses to the survey were received by the council last year. Strategic director Hilary Jones said: "Cuts in government funding have meant that this year has been exceptionally tough for all councils across the country and we are no exception.

"Difficult decisions are needed to bridge the gap between the level of government grants, the increases in the cost of services and additional duties placed on us.

"However, I believe the proposals that have been put forward are fair and minimise the impact as much as possible on services for residents and our staff. They also reflect many of the views expressed by residents who took part in the local area budget survey.

"We would now like to hear what residents think of the final budget proposals we are now putting forward."

The proposals for the 2011 to 2012 year include a council tax freeze and no cuts to front line services at all.

Further details have been posted on the council's website – www.scarborough.gov.uk/budget2011 – and feedback forms are available at any of the council's Customer First centres – in St Nicholas Street in Scarborough, John Street in Filey, Skinner Street in Whitby or High Street in Eastfield.

The views of residents will be taken into account by the council's cabinet before it sets the final budget for 2011/12.