More than 38,000 responses were given to Notts County Council’s Budget Challenge, making it one of the largest consultations ever carried out by the authority.
Residents have been having their say on the 50 different proposals the council has created to reduce its funding deficit.
The authority is having to reduce its spending by £154 million over the next three years because of cuts in funding by the Government for local services.
As well as cutting costs through efficiencies, such as sharing services with other councils and introducing a greater use of technology, the council says it has been left with no option but to cut back on a number of services.
In total, there were 38,412 responses during the 20 weeks consultation. These included 7,982 responses through questionnaires, comment cards, letters and emails, 3,750 ‘standard’ letters about proposals to reduce supporting people funding for some homeless services, 24,252 signatures on 32 separate petitions about individual budget proposals and over 2,000 responses to consultations on individual proposals
Coun Alan Rhodes, leader of Notts County Council, said: “The scale of the response to our consultation shows just how passionately the people of Notts care about their local services and how keen they are to protect them.”
“I share their passion for local services and also their concern that so many are now under severe threat because of damaging cuts in Government funding.”
“I am grateful to everyone who has taken the time to respond to the Budget Challenge. We are reviewing all the responses with a view to amending some of the proposals, particularly those affecting vulnerable people. However, the Government’s cuts mean we also need to be realistic about the services we can still afford to deliver.”
“We are implementing a range of new initiatives to improve efficiency and reduce costs to try and reduce the impact of the funding crisis being forced upon us. However the scale of the cuts in Government grants we are facing means, sadly, that significant reductions in our services are inevitable.”