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Budget conversation

The "budget conversation" that started in December 2010 closed in August 2011.

We would like to thank the 75 respondents who took the time to take part and comment. Not everyone chose to answer every question, which meant that the number of valid responses per question was too small a sample to draw significant results from. That said, there were some common threads of feedback that we are taking on board going forward:

Question 1

We asked: Are there any services that we should STOP providing in whole or in part?

You said: The majority of respondents said that no services should be stopped and that we should look to make savings without cutting services

What we're doing: We don't want to stop services either, but have to be realistic that in a time of reducing budgets it may not be possible to retain everything that we currently do in its current form (see answer to question 3 that follows). Should any cuts be proposed moving forward, we have an impact assessment process in place and will consult with service users to ensure that people are not disadvantaged as a result.

Question 2

We asked: Are there any council services that you think we should charge for?

You said: That we should consider charging more for planning applications and the collection of bulk waste. On the whole, the majority of respondents said that we should not introduce more charges as they considered that we charge enough already.

What we're doing: There are some services that we have to charge for and this will not change for example planning applications and parking. Our charges are reviewed regularly as part of our 'Price is Right' review and we do seriously consider the impact on raising charges to ensure that they are affordable and enable a level of service to be maintained or improved.

Question 3

We asked: Are there any council services that you feel could be delivered in another way?

You said: That we should consider outsourcing more of our services where appropriate, although some respondents were strongly against this. A number of respondents also replied that we shouldn't make changes to how we currently deliver services. You also said that residents and local groups could get more involved in helping deliver services going forward.

What we're doing: We are currently reviewing all of our services to ensure that they offer value for money. This is what we call our Transforming Wycombe programme, which is looking at what we do and how we will do it in the future. In some cases this may involve services being delivered by others on our behalf. There are also new opportunities for us to consider and explore as part of the Localism Bill and Big Society agenda to invite others to help deliver services going forward.

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Related web pages

  • Our budget

    The Council's budget for 2010 to 2011.