Council leaders are encouraging as many people as possible take part in Northamptonshire County Council’s budget consultation which kicks off today following the launch of its 2016/17 budget proposals.
Cabinet member for finance Cllr Bill Parker said: “This has been the toughest budget we have ever had to put forward so it is more essential than ever that people take their time to read through the proposals and use any of the number of ways we have set up to ensure they have their say about them.
“These proposals are really just that – they are proposals and none of them are in any way set in stone. What is more definite is the amount of savings we are required to make so if anyone has any further ideas on how we might hit that target rather than through the proposals we have put forward we would be very keen to hear them.”
How can I have my say?
There will be a variety of ways for local people and organisations to have their say about these proposals during the council’s six-week consultation period which ends on Tuesday 19 January, 2016. These channels include:
- Visiting the Draft Budget and Council Plan Consultation webpage and completing the online survey
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Writing to Draft Budget and Council Plan Consultation, Northamptonshire County Council, County Hall, Northampton, NN1 1DN
- Using social media: Tweeting @mycountycouncil or posting comments on the county council Facebook page
- Using the toolkit to hold their own discussions and feeding back to us
- Signing or submitting a petition or e-petition
- Customer and user groups will also be able to hold their own discussions by using the Budget toolkit available on the Draft Budget and Council Plan Consultation webpage
In addition to the channels of consultation, local people and organisations are invited to take part in Budget Scrutiny meetings.
Scrutiny involves councillors reviewing the draft budget proposals, looking at their aims and how delivering these may affect Council services. Members of the public and representatives of community groups can contribute to budget scrutiny by giving councillors their views about which proposals they should scrutinise, and about how particular budget proposals may affect services.
There will be an opportunity for members of the public to give their views about which budget proposals councillors should select for scrutiny, at a meeting of the Council’s Budget Scrutiny Working Group on Wednesday 16th December 2015 at 2.00pm in the Council Chamber at County Hall.
Speaking at a scrutiny meeting
There will then be further meetings during January 2016 to scrutinise selected budget proposals relating to different Council service areas. Members of the public can speak at these.
- Monday 4 January at 9.00am in the Blue Room at County Hall - This meeting will focus on children’s social care and education issues
- Monday 4 January at 1.30pm in the Blue Room - This meeting will focus on adult social care issues
- Tuesday 5 January at 1.30pm in the Blue Room - This meeting will focus on environment, development and transport issues
- Tuesday 5 January at 4.30pm in the Blue Room - This meeting will focus on public health, wellbeing and community services issues
If you wish to attend and speak at any of the Budget Scrutiny Working Group meetings listed above, or if you want any further information about budget scrutiny, please email: Democraticsupport@northamptonshire.gov.uk
Members of the public wishing to speak are asked to give advance notice to assist with managing the meetings. Please email 48 hours in advance of the particular meeting that you wish to attend giving your name and address and the point you wish to raise.