The County Council’s consultation, Balancing the Budget, has been launched to understand the views of residents and stakeholders across Hampshire on options to help the Authority deliver a balanced budget up to 2021/22.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Keith Mans, says “By planning ahead and through careful use of reserves, the County Council has successfully found ways to deliver services differently and more efficiently, securing savings of £480 million over the past 11 years. However, due to growing demand for council services, further reductions in Government funding, rising costs and inflation, the County Council faces a further estimated budget shortfall of £80 million by April 2021. This means more decisions will need to be made about what the County Council can and cannot provide in future.
“Opportunities for reducing costs are getting harder to find which is why it is important that the County Council hears the views of residents and stakeholders, many of whom are likely to be affected by the outcomes. This consultation presents a range of options that could contribute towards balancing the budget.
“The Balancing the Budget consultation runs from midday on Wednesday 5 June 2019 to 11:59pm on 17 July 2019. We will be publicising the consultation widely through a variety of channels including local media, social media, advertising and direct communications with key stakeholder groups.
“We would like to hear from as many residents and stakeholders as possible to help us understand and consider the potential impact of any changes proposed. Feedback will help to inform areas where the County Council could focus on balancing its budget up to 2021/22. It is important residents and stakeholders are clear that no prior decisions have been made regarding the proposals. People can take part in the consultation via the online response form on the webpage: www.hants.gov.uk/balancingthebudget, which will be live from midday on Wednesday 5 June. There will also be a full information pack about the proposals in the consultation on this webpage. Paper copies can be requested by emailing email@example.com or calling 0300 555 1375 and will also be available from local Hampshire libraries.
“The views submitted through this consultation will be collated and used to inform discussions at Executive Member, Select Committee, Cabinet and Council budget proposal meetings during 2019. I very much hope that you will take the time to respond to this important consultation and would appreciate all you can do to promote participation more widely.”