BCP Council is working with residents and businesses, the charity and voluntary sectors and others to tackle the cost-of-living crisis head on as it prepares for a sustainable financial future.
A survey has launched today 18 November inviting residents and stakeholders to tell the council which services they feel are most important and for ideas on how communities can work together more strongly in the future.
The feedback will contribute to the ongoing work to prioritise proposals for next year’s budget setting due to take place in February 2023.
Councillor Drew Mellor, Leader of BCP Council, said: “Barely a day goes by without news of the challenges councils around the country are facing with some looking to cut council services. We are tackling this head on by exploring ways to deliver services differently with communities and other stakeholders.
“This means preparing for changes, and that involves us talking to people now about how we could deliver services in a different way. But we cannot do this alone and it’s important we work together with those who use our services – that’s you.
“It’s also important we maintain our ambitions as a place, whilst we continue to be the safety net for those who need us the most.”
Forecasts show the cost-of-living crisis will add an extra £55million to the cost of running BCP Council over this year and next, affecting fuel prices, food, and energy, meaning it will cost more to fuel bin lorries, streetlights, and the resources that keep some of the most vulnerable adults and children safe.
Councillor Jane Kelly, Lead Member for Communities, said; “Just as we all pulled together in the pandemic we need to come together to tackle the financial pressures caused by the cost-of-living crisis.
“As we look to options to deliver our most important services differently, we want to work together more strongly with our communities to take advantage of the positive things that already exist within our local towns. This will enable people to do more and help each other to manage these difficult times.
“You might be interested in running a community building as a hub for sports and leisure, managing an open space for local people, or hosting an event for children, young people and families. We want to work with you to make your projects and ideas, and many more, a reality so please do get in touch.”
People have until 23 December to complete the survey and submit their ideas by visiting haveyoursay.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/budget. Hard copies are also available at local libraries.
Council staff will be available to discuss the survey with residents and help anyone requiring support at three drop-in events:
Monday 5 December – Bournemouth Library, 2 - 5pm
Thursday 8 December – Christchurch Library, 10am – 1pm
Friday 9 December – Poole Library, 10am - 1pm