13 December 2011

Your County Needs You – that’s the message to potential volunteers from Northamptonshire County Council as it looks to preserve key services in the face of huge financial pressures.

With today’s publication of the council’s budget proposals a central part of the Local Deal is for more people to get involved in helping to run services to boost participation and allow them to be run at a lower cost.

And as part of the Local Deal a new area of the council’s website has been set up to give details of the volunteering opportunities currently available at the council and giving new ways for people to sign up to help.

Cabinet member for Business Intelligence, Performance and Democracy Cllr Joan Kirkbride said: “Critical to the Local Deal and the maintenance of some of our key services is the need for people to come forward to help us deliver our services – we all need to work together to get through this.

“Within this budget itself there are lines which specifically throw a spotlight on this need – most noticeably the work going on in libraries – but the need for volunteers and people getting involved in services is not always just shown in budget lines, it runs across so much of our organisation.

“So whether its volunteering to work within your local library, whether its donating to help run extra services at these community hubs, whether its looking to use the grit bins in your communities to help grit your local paths or whether its simply to make sure you pay to park at our country parks – this work is vital to keep our county going through this very difficult time.”

Many services are now looking for volunteers to help them in the delivery of services in the face of significantly reduced budgets.

To help make this easier for people to sign-up to get involved in a full variety of services a special page of the council’s website has been created. This can be found on the council’s Local Deal webpages at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/thelocaldeal

Cllr Kirkbride said: “It is vital as a county we get this right. To use our excellent library service as an example the facts are simple: if we are not able to attract people to help in their local libraries or donate to help pay for the extra services currently provided then the level of these services just won’t be able to be maintained. That’s a difficult message but unfortunately that’s the truth of the matter.

“We all have a role to play in making Northamptonshire a great place to live and I have every confidence that together we can continue running these excellent services which we know people value so much.”