The Government has cut £142 million of funding from the services we provide to you. That’s £1,500 less per household to pay for local services. These are big numbers. These are crippling cuts.
It is no secret however, that local government is changing.
With the money central government provides to the Council ever dwindling we are being forced to rely more heavily on the council tax we receive from our residents. From you.
We have to deliver a balanced budget. So we have to change not only what we deliver, but also how we deliver it and to do that we need to know what matters to you most.
To do that we have embarked on our biggest ever budget consultation with residents to date.
We’ve have an open door for your voice to be heard. We want to know how you would make the savings and balance the budget.
On 16 September, I launched Tameside’s online budget simulator.
We want to hear from as many people from every house, street and business in Tameside.
We have been running a promotional campaign to get the word out and encourage people to speak up and voice their opinion. From presentations at District Assembly and Town Team meetings to drop in sessions at the Carers’ Centre. Libraries have computers, set up and ready, so that anyone can call in and complete the simulator with assistance from staff, if wanted.
Last Friday, I took part in a workshop with students from Tameside College, Ashton Sixth Form and Droylsden Academy. It was clear that I was working with our stars of the future.
Using the on-line simulator was the easy part. What they did find difficult though was making the hard decisions. Where should we make our cuts? Who gets what? How can we bring more money in?
So you can see these are tough decisions, and provoked a high level of debate.
I want this budget consultation to bring the community and the Council to a common understanding of the challenge and a desire to work together to secure our future.
So please take some time to have a go at the Tameside budget simulator. You can access it from the homepage of the Council’s website or by clicking here. And if you complete the simulator you will be entered into a prize draw and stand a chance of winning a year’s sports club membership with Active Tameside.