COUNTY COUNCIL BUDGET: Have your say this week on the budget cuts

Nottinghamshire residents, local organisations and businesses can have their say on Nottinghamshire County Council’s detailed budget plans later this week.

The council’s policy committee will discuss more than 120 proposals at its meeting this Wednesday, 13th November, as the authority strives to save £154m over the next three years because of funding cuts.

If they are approved, 50 of the proposals will be available to comment on. These include the proposals which the council is statutorily required to consult on, as well as changes to services or funding which could directly impact the public or other stakeholders.

The remaining 72 proposals, which primarily include plans for staff reorganisation, internal changes, shared services arrangements and plans for greater use of technology, will not be part of the consultation.

However, people will also be asked for their views on a proposed change to council tax, with options put forward to increase bills by:

- 1.99 per cent - meaning an extra 38p per week on the average bill

- 3 per cent - meaning an extra 58p per week on the average bill

- 4 per cent meaning an extra 77p per week on the average bill

- 5 per cent meaning an extra 97p per week on the average bill

If the council was to raise council tax by two per cent or more, a referendum would be required before any plans could be passed.

The latest stage of Nottinghamshire County Council’s budget challenge will begin immediately following the Policy meeting on 13th November and remain open until 17th January.

There will be an opportunity comment on any or all of the proposals.

Coun Alan Rhodes, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Drawing up this budget has been both difficult and upsetting. We deeply regret the impact many of the proposals will have on local people, organisations and our employees but we have been placed in an impossible position by unrelenting central Government cuts to our funding.

“We have made every effort to be fair in difficult times and reduce the impact on services as far as possible through improved efficiency but ultimately a lot of people will be adversely affected, and for that we are extremely sorry.

“However, this is a genuine consultation and we want people to give us their views on our plans, tell us how they will be effected and what they think we should be doing differently to make the cuts we are being forced to implement.”

People can take part in the budget challenge consultation at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/budget or join the debate at Facebook/Nottinghamshire and Twitter @nottscc using the hashtag #NottsBudget

Register for email updates about the budget proposals, including a reminder when they are published on the website, at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/emailme

If you’re not online, a consultation booklet including all the detailed budget proposals will be available to pick up and complete from any Nottinghamshire County Council library or county contact point from the week starting 25th November. Alternatively you can request a copy by calling the customer service centre on 0300 500 80 80.

All views given will be taken into consideration before the final budget is considered by full council on 27th February, 2014.