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Residents hear about budget challenges at consultation meetings

Residents hear about budget challenges at consultation meetings

Proposals setting out how Wiltshire Council will protect frontline services while delivering major investment in key areas are being shared at a series of public meetings.

Devizes was the setting for the first of four meetings where the council is sharing with residents how it proposes to meet the challenges of 2016/17 with reduced central government funding.

The council spends £900m a year on around 350 services. Funding from central government continues to reduce and this year will be cut by 16.3 percent. This means Wiltshire Council will have to find £25.254m worth of savings in 2016/17.

At the meeting, cabinet member for finance, Dick Tonge, set out the proposals which will be put forward to full council on 23 February.

He outlined how the council remains committed to investing in services aligned to its three priority areas to protect those who are most vulnerable, to boost the local economy by creating new jobs and safeguarding existing ones, and to support and empower communities to do more for themselves.

There is also a commitment to major investment schemes including delivering superfast broadband, health and wellbeing centres, highways improvements, affordable homes, new schools and economic regeneration

Dick Tonge said: “It was good to see so many people attending last night as we shared the challenges of next year’s budget. There was a constructive atmosphere where we discussed how, despite reduced funding, we will continue to deliver our main priorities and continue with key investment.”

All the meetings have a presentation followed by a question and answer session. Those wishing to attend can confirm their attendance by emailing events@wiltshire.gov.uk, although anyone is welcome on the night.

The remaining meetings will be held on the following dates: 3 February – Chippenham Town Hall from 5.30pm 4 February – Trowbridge County Hall from 5.30pm 10 February – Salisbury Guildhall from 5.30pm


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