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Residents have just days to use council budget simulator

 
Created on 29/10/2019 @ 07:00
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Newtown residents have just days left to have their say on Powys County Council budget priorities.

Residents are being encouraged to have a go at completing the Powys Big Squeeze simulator before the Council’s consultation ends on 3 November.

The simulator allows people to interact with the budget and to set priorities and see what the outcomes are.

Two drop-in sessions are also being held in Newtown and Welshpool to allow people to have help when using the simulator.

The sessions will take place at Newtown Library and Welshpool Library on Friday, 1 November. At Newtown it will take place between 2pm and 3.30pm and at Welshpool between 10.30am and 12noon.

"Most of the Council’s funding comes from the Welsh Government and over the last decade the funding has not kept pace with inflation and pressures on services.  Only a quarter of the Council’s funding comes from council tax income," said a council statement.
 
"A great deal has been done over the last decade to cut Council spending by more than £100 million each year by improving efficiency, changing service delivery, reducing in provision and shedding more than 1,800 jobs.

"The Council has also increased charges, including council tax by 9.5% this year alone, to generate more income."
 
Council budget forecasts for the next three years show a possible shortfall of between £30 million and £46 million – up to £13 million next year.
 
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Aled Davies said:  "Council budgets are being squeezed from all directions and we will have to make difficult decisions to make early next year to set a balanced budget as required by law.
 
“We want ensure our residents understand the situation we are facing and that people have a voice in the difficult budget choices the Council has to make.  The Budget Challenge is an online budget simulator through which people can have a go at setting the Council’s budget highlighting where they think savings should be made. 
 
“The exercise should take around 20 minutes to complete and involves considering a range of  options and submitting a budget.  The choices that you will face are difficult but please do submit your budget even if you do not achieve the £13m target, as your views are important.
 
“Drop in sessions have also been organised at the council’s five main libraries for residents who would like a bit more support to complete and have their say on the council’s Big Squeeze online budget.”
 
Two drop-in sessions are taking place on the following dates:
 
Friday 1 November
Welshpool Library 10:30am – 12noon
Newtown Library 2pm – 3:30pm
 
Anyone with visual impairments or conditions that make it hard for them to use a PC or anyone who can’t make the drop in dates but wish to complete the exercise but need help can either call the council and ask to speak to the Engagement Officer or email haveyoursay@powys.gov.uk with their details and someone will get back in touch.  
 
The exercise can be found at:  https://powyscc.budgetsimulator.com  
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