Community Council Briefing
| Background Dumfries and Galloway Council continues to face huge challenges with more budget cuts a reality over the next three years. Forecasts of our budget show that the Council can expect to have £49 million less to spend on services and resources. This is nearly 15% of our current budget over that period and is in addition to almost £106 million that has been cut since 2010.
The Council’s agreed budget timetable required Council officers to prepare a summary of options to close the Council’s funding gap for 2020/21. These options have been for publication to be used in a stakeholder engagement programme, throughout November and December 2019.
Budget Options prepared by Council Officers The Council has estimated its funding gap for next year to be £15.7 million. The Council has already agreed savings of £3.1 million meaning there is a need to find a further saving of £12.7 million.
Council officers were tasked with producing options to bridge the gap and have prepared a range of options to be considered by Councillors, Citizens, Customers, Staff and Partners. Some of the options prepared relate to changes in how we operate and carry out internal Council business. The remaining options relate to services citizens use regularly totalling £8.023million.
This list has been published at https://dumgal.gov.uk/budget. The option to increase council tax by 3% (as permitted by Scottish Government in prior years) is included in the options available. No decisions on these options have been taken. All of these options will be considered by Councillors over the next few months.
Feedback from citizens, customers, staff and partners will be reported to Councillors at a meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Council on 17 December 2019 to inform their decisions when setting their budget for 2020/21 in February 2020.
| What’s happening now You have been contacted as a statutory consultee to keep you informed and to enable you to participate in the engagement process. As a statutory consultee we would like to hear the views of your community which can be given in a number of ways over the coming weeks:
Community Conversations As discussed at the First Meeting of your Community Council, we are now pleased to provide details of these events. We would appreciate your assistance in promoting the Community Conversations that will be happening across the region between 18 and 30 November 2019. Further information and details can be found at www.dumgal.gov.uk/budget. Publicity material will be made available to assist you in taking this forward by emailing us at Community.Councils@dumgal.gov.uk.
Formal Written Response Given that the statutory role and purpose of a Community Council is to represent the views of your community to local authorities, we would be grateful if you could complete the attached Community Council Written Response Form to the Council Budget Consultation and return it to us by Wednesday, 4 December 2019.
Please note that with your agreement your Formal Written Response will be published in full to Councillors and will be made available on www.dumgal.gov.uk.
|What happens next? Feedback from citizens, customers, staff and partners will be reported to Councillors at a meeting of Full Council on 17 December 2019 to inform their decisions when setting their budgets in February 2020.
Once the Council Budget has been set there will be a detailed ‘You Said We Did/Did Not” completed, posted on the webpage and sent to any consultee who asks to be contacted direct. We will also send this to all Community Councils for information.
|Further information Please note that further information can be found at www.dumgal.gov.uk/budget or by contacting your local Ward Officer.