The current ruling Conservative -LibDem Coalition in York is currently consulting on the council’s budget for the coming year. As in previous years, there is an online survey to ask residents for asking for their views and priorities. After criticism from Green councillors last year, now there is more time for consultation.
There was a paper version of the survey included in the latest edition of Our City (currently in distribution). Please be aware that the consultation for paper surveys from Our City closes already on Friday 1 December 2017.
The easiest way is to complete a Budget Consultation survey online. You can also use the open comment boxes for clarifications e.g. if the survey just gives your “investment in roads and footpaths” as an option, but you would just prefer one or the other.
Due to the repeated cuts to funding for local authorities by the austerity-driven governments in Westminster, we already know that in 2018 there will be further financial challenges and decisions to make on a substantial rise to council tax and/or cuts in serves. The coalition indicates that in 2018 to 2019, they want to save £6.1 million (and another £4.2 million in 2019-2020). In their last budget, they agreed on proposals which already identify £3 million of savings towards the target for next year.
The Budget Council meeting will be in February 2018 and a more detailed proposal form the coalition will be available at the beginning of the new year. All opposition parties will have the opportunity to propose changes and amendments, which will be discussed and voted on in February.
York Green Group Leader and local councillor for Fishergate, Andy D’Agorne said, “We condemn the draconian cuts being forced on local government in general and specifically here in York. We have the ninth lowest funding per head and the second lowest net budget spend per head of all unitary authorities. The increasing pressures of looking after our elderly and aging population mean we need to be increasing spending, not cutting it. As long as the Government continues to starve local authorities of funding – pouring vast amounts of our taxes into nuclear weapons, subsidies for nuclear plants and fracking companies, road building and the HS2 vanity project – the only way out of the spiral of decline in local services is to increase in our local tax base year on year.”
Consultation for the online survey closes at midnight on Friday 15 December 2017.