A public engagement exercise looking at South Ayrshire Council's 2019-20 Budget is now underway. Information will be gathered online and at a series of face-to-face drop-in events ahead of Councillors considering final proposals next month.
South Ayrshire Council and the Social Work element of the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership face a significant forecast budget deficit of £17m* in 2019-20 (*£11m and £6m respectively). No final decisions have been taken on the budget, with talks already underway with Elected Members and Trade Unions.
This process is now being broadened out with concentrated public engagement running from Wednesday January, 30 until Friday 17 February, 2019. As part of a new way of working, engagement is being made a fundamental part of the way the Council operates, with online feedback and discussions with the community to continue through the year to help assess the budget's impact and to inform future decisions.
For the immediate budget, and to help influence the direction of investment and savings for 2019-20, people are being asked consider how they feel about key areas. All final decisions will support South Ayrshire's people and places in line with the six strategic objectives set out in the Council Plan 2018-2022:
- Effective leadership that promotes fairness
- Reduce poverty and disadvantage
- Health and care systems that meet people's needs
- Make the most of the local economy
- Increase the profile and reputation of South Ayrshire and the Council
- Enhanced environment through social, cultural and economic activities.
This latest exercise builds on the response for the 2018/19 budget where more than 2,800 took part, with that feedback playing an important role in guiding decisions for 2019/20.
Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said, "Faced with an extremely challenging financial settlement we face some stark choices in the weeks ahead and to help inform our decisions we'll be speaking to communities across South Ayrshire.
"With our online questionnaire now open we will also be holding a series of face-to-face events in February, with feedback from all of these being fed back to us on an ongoing basis to make sure that emerging information is considered as quickly as possible.
"At this stage no decisions have been made regarding future investment and potential savings, and we're actively considering our options ahead of our vote to set the final budget on 28th February.
"We would like to hear your thoughts on local priorities and by getting involved in this process you will help us to make informed decisions and deliver the best deal possible for our people and places."
You can take part in the survey here, with comments made before midnight on Sunday, 17 February being considered as part of the budget setting process for 2019/20. Online feedback and discussions with the community will continue through the year to help assess the budget's impact and to inform future decisions
Details of the community drop-in events taking place in South Ayrshire are available here.