Time is running out to have your say in helping Stirling Council set next year’s budget through the Big Budget Conversation.
The local authority launched its budget engagement process for 2021/22 on 23 December, 2020 with the stark message that services must change to meet an £8million funding gap. Transformation of how the Council delivers services will continue in the years ahead, with a further £30million needing to be saved over the four years to 2024/25.
Residents are being asked to tell the local authority what matters most to them through an online survey on the new Engage Stirling platform, which closes on Sunday, 24 January. Responses from the survey will be coupled with officer proposals and added to the responses from the recent Residents Survey and Locality Action Plans that have been developed throughout the year to provide a comprehensive package to inform Councillors’ budget plans in the coming months.
Residents have until midnight on Sunday, 24 January 2021 to get involved.
Convener of Stirling Council’s Finance and Economy Committee, Cllr Margaret Brisley said: “We’ve had 100s of response so far and would ask everyone who can to get involved and take part in the survey. Help us understand what matters most to you by engaging in this Big Budget Conversation.
“We face a substantial budget gap of at least £8million next year and options for closing it are more limited than normal, given services are already not operating as usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Council has also incurred significant additional costs and loss of income in the current year because of the virus, and this is likely to continue into next year.
“Residents must be under no illusions - significant budget reduction measures will have to be considered to set a balanced budget for 2021/22 and time is running out for the public to have their say.”
Vice Convener, Cllr Alison Laurie, said: “Our staff have shown remarkable resilience and adaptability to deliver essential services to the people of Stirling in the most challenges of circumstances.
“That challenge is now greater than ever before as a result of the financial pressures we are facing so we must continue to transform and adapt the way we deliver for the people of Stirling.
“It’s crucial that the people who live and work here have their say in guiding how we do that.”