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Brentwood Borough Council is urging residents and businesses to have their say in a consultation about the council’s proposed budget for 2022/23.
The purpose of the consultation is to understand where residents want to see the council’s budget spent, what services they deem important and what services they want to see investment from in order to see improvement.
In recent years, the government has reduced grant funding to councils, this consultation is looking for views on how to spend the next budget to ensure that despite reduced grant funding the council can still provide the best services and meet the needs of residents and businesses in Brentwood.
The consultation is looking to collate views on the following:
- Spending on services – should the council spend less, the same or more on the services it currently provides. Also gives residents the opportunity to rate the service currently being provided
- Corporate strategy – how important are the objectives outlined in the corporate strategy to you
- Raising funds and driving efficiencies – how should the council look to generate funds and achieve efficiencies in order to continue delivering services
- Council tax – would residents like to see a decrease in council tax and therefore a decrease in services, a marginal increase in council tax and maintained services or a significant increase in council tax (subject to a referendum) and further investment in delivery of services.
The information from this survey will be used by councillors as they set the budget and council tax for 2022/23.
Council leader, Cllr Chris Hossack said; “We have made huge progress in the last 18 months despite the challenges. We have pushed the green agenda with tree plantings across the borough, continued the refurbishment of the play areas, launched a new recycling service to improve our carbon footprint, taken over the Brentwood Centre which opened a new gym last week and has seen membership increase under council leadership.
“These are just a few of the multiple projects that are ongoing and make a real difference to our lives and the future of the borough. We listen very closely to what our residents want and we act on their suggestions whilst balancing a tight budget.
“As a result through investing, innovation and maximising opportunities we have been able to deliver a lot on relatively little – but we need to know what your priorities are. What are the areas that are most important to you? What legacy do you want Brentwood Borough Council to focus on? These are important questions that only you, our residents and businesses can answer. This is why the budget consultation is so important.
I have done the survey myself, it takes less than five minutes but covers a wide range of topics and areas and it is this survey on which future decisions will be based. So make sure your views are heard and take a few minutes out of your day to let us know what your priorities are for the coming years.”
The consultation can be accessed at: https://www.brentwood.gov.uk/-/setting-a-balanced-budget-for-2022-23 or by contacting the council on 01277 312500 and requesting a form be posted to you. The consultation closes on October 3.