Budget consultation - Financial Year 2015-16

Budget consultation - Financial Year 2015-16


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.

There are four main areas that we’re focussing on to make a difference.

  1. We’re helping businesses create jobs and opportunities in Walsall and we’re helping Walsall people find work.
  2. We’re helping Walsall people lead healthier lives and older people live independently.
  3. We’re creating safe and sustainable places where everyone can live.
  4. We’re working to help the children who need the most help and we’re working so children can learn and make the best start in life they can.

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 people 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.

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.

Save money and time respond online!

This online survey allows you to comment on all 54 policy proposals as well as those that are operational. For each proposal there are 5 short questions to answer which ask 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 ask 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).

Before responding please review details of the draft policy proposals summarised in the budget booklet (392KB .PDF) and refer to 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, will be undertaking their own consultation on the proposed changes to services. Contact your local library or children's centre for details.

People will also be able to have thie say at special face to face discussions being organised throughout November. Details will be posted here and in the press in due course.

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

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
Walsall
WS1 1TP

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

This page was last updated on 30 October 2014