Residents poised for budget meetings

Residents and business leaders have welcomed the chance to have their say on next year’s spending priorities for East Riding Council, which is facing severe cuts to its budget.

The authority is hosting a series of public budget consultation meetings as it works on its plans for the next financial year.

Mavis Vines, the secretary of East Riding Tenants’ Forum, has been attending the meetings for a number of years.

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“I went along in the first place because I wanted to know how our council tax is being spent,” she said.

“The meetings have given me an insight into how the council decides where the money should be spent, and that we are getting value for money.

“The council is listening to us because they show us year on year what they have done and how they have taken on board what people have said.

“If people are not satisfied I always ask them if they go to the budget conferences, and if not I tell them that they should.”

Keith Gilson, the commercial director of the construction division of building contractor Houlton, said of a previous meeting: “It proved to be positive, enlightening and challenging.

“It was a very worthwhile opportunity for business to be heard and to contribute to the future direction of the council.”

The budget will be set in February and the council has to save about £72m over the next four years.

Council leader Stephen Parnaby said: “These budget events are always popular and it is a great way of highlighting the pressures the council is under to deliver top quality services on a very tight budget.

“It also gives us an opportunity to listen to the views of residents about what is important to them.”

The next meeting will be at Beverley leisure centre on December 4.

To book a place, call 01482 394200.