Budget consultation - Financial Year 2015-16

Budget consultation - Financial Year 2015-16

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Full Cabinet Report 17 December 2014

Draft budget proposals: Service Specifc Consultation

Walsall Council press releases


Budget: Have your say 2015-16

It’s a difficult time to be in the public sector. The world is changing and there will be less money. The public sector will have to change radically because of having less money. Some difficult choices will have to be made and at Walsall Council we expect that we’ll have to save £86 million over the next four years.

Walsall Council provides a wide range of statutory (by law) and discretionary (optional) services. Remind yourself of the different services we provide by reviewing our list of services (20KB .PDF) and street scene picture (178KB .PDF).

We’re working harder than ever to make Walsall a better place for everyone. We’ll have less money and we are likely to have fewer staff so we’ll be able to do less. But we’ll make the best of what we’ve got. You can read more about the council's budget in the Budget Book 2014/15 or view our key financial information page .

Phase one of budget consultation and engagement (August to September 2014)

Phase one of consultation and engagement was general in nature but focussed on gaining a better understanding of the priorities of those who live, work, visit or do business in the borough. People gave their views using comment postcards and questionnaires, via online surveys, at face to face sessions and through a specially commissioned telephone survey. The views of over 4,600 were gathered and have been summarised and reported to Cabinet for consideration as part of the decision making process.

Consultation on our Draft Budget Proposals (30 October to 10 December 2014)

No decisions on the budget have yet been made and from 30 October until 10 December (six weeks) we are consulting on our draft budget proposals and we want you to have your say and influence our final decisions. Full details of all our operational and policy draft budget proposals are included in the 29 October Cabinet Report: Financial Plan Draft Revenue Budget and Capital Programme (1.5MB .PDF)

We are anticipating the need to deliver revenue savings / revenue funding changes of £29.28m in 2015/16. Our draft proposals include around £16m worth of 'operational' proposals that are considered to have minimal impact on front line service provision, and cover the following:

  • Review of senior management
  • Review and reduction of back office and support functions
  • Use of a reduced number of agency staff
  • Reduction in general operational costs
  • Review of council buildings and rented accommodation
  • General efficiencies
  • Grant funding opportunities
  • Review of procurement of council expenditure and contracted services.

Draft 'policy' proposals are ones that require a change in council policy, which in most cases directly affect front line service delivery.

Image of cover of budget booklet

We have summarised our 54 draft policy proposals in a handy budget booklet (392KB .PDF) and the centre pages include a short questionnaire for you to complete and return to us. Every draft budget proposal has a reference number which you should use when responding. This survey is now closed.

Printed copies of the booklet are available to pick up at the following places: First Stop Shop (Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall), all libraries and mobile libraries, leisure centres, The New Art Gallery, Walsall Museum, The Leather Museum, the Local History Centre, The Forest Arts Centre, The Independent Living Centre (9 Wisemore, Walsall), Children's Centres, Community Associations and GP surgeries.

A brief Easy Read guide to the budget setting process is available here (608KB .PDF)

Save money and time respond online! This survey is now closed.

For each proposal there were 5 short questions to answer which asked about:

  • your use of that particular service
  • whether you support the proposal or not
  • how the proposal might affect you
  • your alternative suggestions for how the saving could be made

We also asked a few questions about you which we will use to monitor equality characteristics (these questions are voluntary, however, we have a legal requirement to ask you).

Details of the draft policy proposals are summarised in the budget booklet (392KB .PDF) and further details are available in the relevant sections of the 29 October Cabinet Report: Financial Plan Draft Revenue Budget and Capital Programme below for additional information and details of operational proposals.

  1. Introduction (276KB .PDF)
  2. Finance and Communications (36KB .PDF)
  3. Children's Services (128KB .PDF)
  4. Community, Leisure and Culture (133KB .PDF)
  5. Environment and Transport (107KB .PDF)
  6. Health (35KB .PDF)
  7. Personnel and Business Support (49KB .PDF)
  8. Regeneration (39KB .PDF)
  9. Social Care (68KB .PDF)

In addition to budget consultation, some services, including libraries and children's centre, are undertaking their own consultation on the proposed changes to services.

People could also have their say at special face to face sessions, detailed below.

The closing date for responses was 10 December 2014 and responses are now being collated, summarised and will be reported to Cabinet for consideration before the final budget is set on 26 February 2015.

Face to face drop in sessions

Residents give thier comments to a council officer

Local residents give thier views at Darlaston library

We held a number of informal sessions where anyone could drop in and give their views to us. Staff will took comments on all of the draft budget proposals and gave further information on how people can have their say. Sessions took place all over the borough, dates, times and venues are detailed below.

First Stop Express, Anchor Road, Aldridge10 November14.00 to 16.00
First Stop Express, Willenhall Town Centre11 November09.30 to 12.30
First Stop Express, King Street, Darlaston11 November13.30 to 16.00
Aldridge Library, Rookery Lane, Aldridge11 November14.00 to 16.00
Pelsall Library, High Street, Pelsall14 November10.00 to 12.00
First Stop Shop, Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall17 November14.00 to 16.00
Brownhills Library, Park View Centre, Chester Road North18 November10.00 to 12.00
Central Library, Lichfield Street, Walsall20 November12.00 to 14.00
Darlaston Library, 1 King Street, Darlaston21 November14.00 to 16.00
First Stop Shop, Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall24 November10.00 to 12.00
Council House Room 4, Lichfield Street, Walsall25 November18.00 to 20.00
First Stop Express, Park Street, Walsall26 November10.00 to 16.00
Bloxwich Library, Elmore Row, Bloxwich28 November14.00 to 16.00
First Stop Shop, Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall1 December14.00 to 16.00
First Stop Express, Willenhall Town Centre2 December09.30 to 12.30
First Stop Express, King Street, Darlaston2 December13.30 to 16.00
Central Library, Lichfield Street, Walsall4 December16.00 to 18.00
Willenhall Library, Walsall Street, Willenhall5 December10.00 to 12.00
First Stop Express, Willenhall Town Centre9 December09.30 to 12.30
First Stop Express, King Street, Darlaston9 DecemberCANCELLED*
First Stop Shop, Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall9 December14.00 to 16.00

* The First Stop Express will not be calling at Darlaston on 9th December due to road works preventing access to King Street. Apologies for any inconvenience.

The First Stop Express bus stops in Willenhall and Darlaston every Tuesday (execpt on 18 November due to maintenence).

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You said, we did

Information gathered as part of budget consultation is used alongside other data and knowledge to inform decision making around the budget. Each year, in a report to Cabinet, we summarise what people told us and what policy decisions were made. This extract from the Cabinet report for 5 February 2014 (72KB .PDF) details what budget proposals were approved and rejected as part of the 2014/15 budget setting process.

Contact us:

Budget Consultation
Walsall Council
Civic Centre
Darwall Street

Phone: 01922 653644
Email: budgetconsultation@walsall.gov.uk

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This page was last updated on 17 December 2014