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Having your say on Basildon Council budget cuts
DOZENS of concerned residents seized a chance to have their say on which services matter most as Basildon Council readies itself for sweeping budget cuts.
Basildon Council leader Tony Ball and chief executive Bala Mahendran have warned the authority will have millions cut from its budget over the coming years as the Government tries to cut £18billion from the UK’s welfare budget.
The cuts will lead to staff redundancies and changes to the way it provides its services.
On Saturday, the council held the first in a series of three town centre “Let’s Talk” consultation sessions in Billericay , asking residents which services and facilities are most important to them and need protecting.
Passersby were asked fill out a questionnaire and invited to voice their concerns to council officers, and councillors Phil Turner, Richard Moore, John Dornan, Stuart Sullivan and leader Tony Ball.
Mr Turner, councillor responsible for housing, said: “Things are going to get tough. There is no way we can offer everything we did previously, not in this economy. A lot of people have turned out to air their views.”
This comes after news that up to 11,000 residents face having their council tax benefits slashed as part of the cut backs.
Basildon Council spends about £30million providing services for residents, including rubbish collections, housing support, benefits and leisure services.
Half is made up from sources such as council tax, with the other half provided by the Government. In just two years the funding from Whitehall will be cut to just £10million, leaving the authority with a deficit of almost £7million.
Similar consultation sessions will be held in Wickford and Basildon town centres over the next two Saturdays.
For more information, contact the council on 01268 533333 or visit www.basildon.gov.uk