Council seek views on cuts
A council is inviting residents to have their say on plans to cut services.
Stevenage Borough Council wants residents to come along to a ‘pop-up’ caf� in Town Square on Saturday between 10am and 1pm to discuss proposals to cut non-statutory services to make up a shortfall in central government funding of �3.5m over the next four years. Councillors are currently considering saving proposals worth �1.6m to be made in the next year.
Services that have been targeted include pest control, Stevenage Museum, lunch clubs, community transport, grants for community groups, garages and park maintenance.
Over a cup of tea or coffee, in the so-called Caf� Choice, residents will be encouraged to share their own views and ideas on how the budget should be spent.
A council spokesman said: “Inside Caf� Choice, visitors will be asked to indicate which of the current savings proposals they agree and disagree with. They will also have the opportunity to talk to council officers and members, and to enter a free prize draw with the chance to win a shopping voucher.”
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Council leader Sharon Taylor said: “I am very proud of the strong mutual links Stevenage Borough Council has with residents and community groups. Stevenage is a unique and special place, and to keep it that way we need to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It’s crucial that the council delivers services that closely meet the needs of people in the town and the best way for us to understand those needs is for people to tell us. Our Caf� Choice is a great way for you to do this.
“We have a history of consulting with and involving people. These cuts imposed by the Government are deeper and more severe than any of us would have wanted but together we can develop and deliver services that meet the needs of our communities, within the budget we have to spend.”
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Residents can also have their say on shaping council services by using the online forum www.stevenageforum.net, the council’s Facebook or Twitter pages, or by completing a questionnaire at www.stevenage.gov.uk