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Published 19 August 2019

West Dunbartonshire Council today launched a new budget consultation to give residents more say on how their money is spent.

The new priority-based survey asks residents to give feedback on which Council services are vital to them. This is done by ranking services such as schools, roads, libraries and sport and leisure in order of importance.

The outcome of the consultation, which takes place four months earlier than normal, will give both Council Officers and Elected Members a clear indication of the services where there is more appetite for change.

The survey will remain open until Sunday 29 September 2019.  Results will then be reported to Council and will inform the final budget agreed and savings taken at the budget setting meeting in February/ March 2020.

Councillor Ian Dickson, Convener of Corporate Services, said: "I welcome the launch of this new budget consultation which will give our residents the opportunity to influence the decisions taken by Councillors when setting next year’s budget.

"The 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.

"To balance the books the Council has reduced management costs by £1.5m, increased efficiency and productivity, changed opening hours, and closed expensive old buildings.

"Looking to the future it is inevitable that further difficult decisions will be required, with £9m of savings required by April 2020 alone. This consultation will guide us when we take those key decisions next year and I would encourage as many residents to take part as possible."
Residents can access the survey via the Council website and in local libraries. There will also be focus group events in communities across West Dunbartonshire.

A report detailing the findings will be reported to councillors in November before the budget is officially set in February.