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West Suffolk: St Edmundsbury seeking views on how to make £1.5m savings

PUBLISHED: 12:45 22 July 2014

Council leader John Griffiths.

Council leader John Griffiths.

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A budget consultation has been launched by St Edmundsbury Borough Council as it prepares to save a further £1.5 million in 2015/16.

People are being asked for their views on a range of options that will help inform councillors when they make their budget decisions later in the year.

Questionnaires will be dropping on the doormats of 3,000 homes across the borough and all St Edmundsbury residents can take part in the consultation online. The consultation asks some specific questions, with indications of the potential money saved, or new income generated. These include questions relating to the use of volunteers in parks and heritage services, as well as possibilities for changes at the bus station.

John Griffiths, leader of the council, said: “We are all in this together. We do not wish to see services disappear or compromise on quality – but the harsh reality is that they may have to be different in the future.

“We have already made savings of £3.5m per year by joining up our services with Forest Heath, but need to reduce our budget for 2015/16 by a further £1.5m. That means difficult decisions will have to be made and we are keen to ensure both that they are considered carefully and that there are no nasty surprises.”

Mr Griffiths said St Edmundsbury would welcome people’s suggestions on how the council can deliver quality services while either reducing costs or increasing income.

He added: “I should stress that no decisions have yet been made – these are just some ideas for possible consideration.

“That is why we are asking people to take the time to take part in this budget consultation, to help us to continue to keep our council tax down and to maintain that enviable quality of life we enjoy here in St Edmundsbury.”

The consultation closing date is August 22 and councillors will take the consultation responses into account during the autumn budget-setting process, with the final budget set in February 2015. To fill in the questionnaire online, visit www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk/budgetsurvey2014

People without internet access can do this at the council’s offices in Bury St Edmunds or Haverhill.

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