A rare thing happened today; I put out an official press release about the council's online consultation
Residents can submit their own money-saving ideas and find out about how services are being prioritised, on the Sefton Council website.New pages have been posted on the site which give people the chance to see how services may be affected by cuts in Government funding of around £68 million over the next three years.
In December, councillors agreed a number of measures to help identify savings. Part of that process was to agree services which are deemed to be "critical" or 'frontline;' those which the council is legally required to carry out; and those which might be reduced or stopped with less impact for residents. These have been categorised as 'Other Services.'
Savings of around £27 million have already been found across all service areas. These include large reductions in the number of senior managers, a 25% reduction in management and administration costs, and changes to staff terms and conditions.
Many departments have also changed the way they deliver services as part of the Council's ongoing Transformation Programme including more efficient processes and integrated working.
But with £17 million still to find before the 2011/12 budget is set in March, the council is looking at further prioritising the 'Other Services' to help bridge the funding gap.
Residents are now able to see which services have been prioritised by clicking on the different categories on the site. They can also offer their suggestions on how further savings can be generated in the coming months and years.
Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Performance and Governance, Cllr Iain Brodie-Browne, said: "The new website pages are a way for residents to have a look at the work that has been done so far and also let us know their ideas and suggestions on how we might identify further savings in the future.
"We want everyone to know how services might change in the next few years and also provide another opportunity for people to submit their views. We are hoping to expand on this exercise in the future and are currently exploring a free interactive tool which would allow people to set their own budgets and priorities for future service delivery.
"In the future we hope to be able to communicate with our residents in a more interactive way through our website and also using social media channels. This would help us to update people on services and events and also provide information on what is happening across the borough."