West Dunbartonshire Council’s budget has stayed largely the same for the past five years but during that period we’ve had to deal with a variety of pressures such as rising inflation, public sector wage increases, an ageing population with more demand for Council services, and increasing costs. During that same period Council Tax was frozen for three years - not increasing until 2018/19.
To balance the books the Council has taken a range of steps such as reducing the number of managers, increasing efficiency and productivity, putting up charges, changing opening hours, using up savings, and closing expensive old buildings. Management costs alone have reduced by nearly £1.5m since 2016/17.
Looking to the future it is inevitable that further difficult decisions will be required, with £9m of savings required by April 2020 alone. To meet this challenge head on we are taking a fresh approach to budget engagement to make sure you influence the savings ideas that are developed and ultimately considered by your Councillors.
This financial challenge is something facing every Council in Scotland, and residents across the country are considering similarly difficult decisions. While difficult decisions have to be made, it is important to stress that our priority will be to protect the frontline services our residents most rely upon, and to ensure we can support our most vulnerable citizens.
We want to know which services are a priority for you, this will help us decide where to focus when looking for savings options over coming years. Let us know the things that really matter to you, and also the services and provisions which are less of a priority in your day to day life.
The services detailed in the survey are those which are delivered by the Council directly to residents or wider communities. It does not include services provided by partners on our behalf, such as social work services, or those funded from other sources, such as housing services to Council tenants.
This survey will remain open until Sunday 29 September 2019. Results will then be report to Council and will inform the final budget agreed and savings taken at the budget setting meeting in February / March 2020.
To help you provide feedback we have prepared a supporting document which tells you a little about each service on the list. Please read this before completing the survey.
If you are unable to complete the survey as a result of an accessibility issue, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will support you with an appropriate solution specific to your needs.