Last year, the Council lost £51 million of government funding and this year there is a ‘gap’ of £25 million between its income and projected spend. As part of the drive to balance its budget, the Leader of the Council has written to every household in the borough asking residents to tell them where they would make savings and where they would invest Council funds in 2012.
The simulator, which can be accessed at www.wirral.gov.uk/budget2012
, shows what the Council will spend next year. The money is broken down into five different areas; Your Neighbourhood, Children & Young People, Adult Social Services, Your Economy and Your Council. People can look at each of the budgets and decide to reduce them, increase them or leave them unchanged after considering the consequences of each option. They can also make suggestions on how to increase income.
Leader of Wirral Council, Councillor Steve Foulkes explained:
“Like all local authorities we are going to have to make some tough decisions.
We will continue to assess our ‘back-office’ functions to see where costs and bureaucracy can be reduced, but this will not be enough to bridge the projected budget gap.
“For this reason, we are asking the people of Wirral, to tell us how they think we should balance our budget. We need to have a real open, honest conversation with local residents about how we deal with our financial situation.”
The budget simulator works in three simple stages:
ADJUST: Click on each area shown to see a breakdown of the Council’s budget. Next to each area will be a budget and a slider. Simply drag the slider to adjust funding up and down. As you make changes the simulator will calculate how this affects the Council budget.
REVIEW: View the consequences of the choices you make. For every budget you decide to reduce or increase there will be a consequence – the simulator will show you what they are with each change you make. You can go back and make changes at any time if you aren’t happy with the results.
SUBMIT: View the summary and click FINISH when you’re ready to let the Council know the decisions you have made. Remember, you need to recommend savings of at least £25million!
Feedback from the Simulator will be reported back to Cabinet in December and used to help identify priorities for saving or investment in the budget.
to share you views or go to any One Stop Shop, Library or Leisure Centre. The Council will also be out and about in areas across Wirral talking to residents to ensure everyone has the opportunity to make their voice heard.