Over 3000 people have had their say in Wrexham Council’s recent ‘Difficult Decisions’ budget consultation.
The process, which took place between October 24th and November 28th, asked local residents for their views on further cuts and changes to local services.
Overall we’re told that 3265 completed either an online or paper copy of the consultation, however this figure is likely to increase when letters and emails have been factored in.
The number is down 535 responses on the previous year / consultation.
Under the provisional settlement Wrexham will see a -0.6% decrease in funding, likely leading to cuts of a further £9m – which is around £4-5m more than initially anticipated.
These cuts are in addition to the £33.8 million made by Wrexham Council in the past five years.
In October the Leader of Wrexham Council, Cllr Mark Pritchard, warned the public that the local authority faced “savage cuts” with risks to further local services.
Such proposals included a review into the local library services, including “options for community run libraries and lone working options for branch libraries and identify where further costs can be reduced for non front line services”. It was estimated this could make savings for the council of around £130,000.
One of the big changes put forward for consideration includes reducing the current fortnightly collection for black or blue bins and instead introducing three-weekly collections.
It is estimated that this change would generate the greatest level of savings, and also have the biggest impact on recycling within Wrexham.
Recycling collections would continue on a weekly basis and it is hoped the amount of recyclable waste increases as a result of this change to the black / blue bins.
Another change proposed is the introduction of an annual charge of £30 to everyone (who uses one) to have their green / garden waste bins collected.
Members of the public also had the chance to have their say on a ‘review’ in faith school transport in the county borough – something which Wrexham Council say costs around £302,000 to provide.
A stark increase in Council Tax of up to six per cent was also put forward – a suggestion that received a great deal of feedback on our Facebook page.
The results of the consultation will help shape the decision making process for the budget for 2019/20. This will then be presented to the executive board in January 2019 for approval before being formally signed off by Full Council in February 2019.