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Residents' opinions helping to shape our financial planning

Last Modified February 09, 2017
Morris Bright

The opinions of residents on a range of services have been gathered by independent researchers and the information is being used by Hertsmere Borough Council to guide its financial planning.

A 'participatory budgeting exercise', conducted at the end of 2016 with a representative selection of the borough's residents, has provided valuable data that is guiding financial strategy in both the short and medium term. 

Residents were asked by independent researchers about their preferences regarding how savings could be made across a whole host of different services that the council offers, either through service cost reduction or increased income. 

Based on the information gathered from the participants, the Executive agreed proposals to generate savings and efficiencies of more than £200,000 per year at its meeting on 8 February, starting with the 2017/18 budget, and noted further possible options for longer term financial savings. 

Councillor Morris Bright, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Communication and Consultation, explained: "All local authorities continue to face tough financial decisions and Hertsmere is no exception. This participatory budgeting exercise gave us valuable information about what services our residents want to see protected.

“Feedback from the researchers showed that residents' preferences were to increase charges, such as for on and off street parking, rather than to cut back on services.  It was clear that residents did not want to see cuts to the funding support we provide for Police Community Support Officers and the grant for Community Transport, followed closely by the funding for Citizens Advice and the debt advisor."

Participants were entered into a prize draw as an incentive to take part in the survey.  Mr Tim McGowan from Borehamwood won £100 in vouchers

Posted on Thursday 9th February 2017

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