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Strong response to council's 'Help us save £100m' call
THE citizens of Wirral have responded swiftly to a local authority consultation exercise seeking people’s views on ways to deal with a multi-million pound budget shortfall.
Wirral Council has spoken to 3,000 residents in just five days from the Globe front page lead telling of the consultation and more than 1,000 responses have been received.
Council leader Cllr Phil Davies ordered the measure when confronted with a shock report that the authority faced a £17m overspend at the end of the financial year unless economies were put in place; and that the government had ordered spending to be squeezed further over the next three years to the tune of £100m.
He said: “Many of the people we have spoken to this week were aware of the savings we are being forced to make and the amount of interest we’ve already had shows that the issue is important to them.
“ However, we need as many people as possible to take part so that their views can be considered when we start prioritising our remaining budget.
“We are planning about 180 different events in total with more opportunities being scheduled all the time to ensure that this rate of response continues.”
The consultation is the biggest ever undertaken in the borough to date..
Supermarkets, cinemas and bingo halls are some of the places where people have already had their say on the services that matter most to them and their families.
The first week also saw council officers visiting community groups and residents associations to find out where they think savings should be found., The Council hopes to have gathered thousands of views by the time the consultation closes after a six-week period.
Details of where the consultation roadshow will be each week are available on the council’s website and paper copies of the questionnaire are also available from any council one stop shop, library, leisure centre or children’s centre.
An online version of the questionnaire, along with a video explaining the consultation, is also available at: www.wirral.gov.uk/whatreallymatters.
People have until October 19 to take part. Results will be used to develop specific options for achieving the savings the authority must impose. Further consultation will then take place to gather views on the options before final decisions are made.
The council’s the ‘What Really Matters’ roadshow will be held at public locations across the peninsula all this week and Monday and Tuesday next week.