Edinburgh Council is asking residents how it should save and spend money as part of public engagement on proposals for the 2016-20 budget.
This year people will also get the chance to contribute ideas of their own on how city services are provided, using the online ‘Your City, Your Say’ dialogue page.
The web page will form part of a ten-week engagement period, beginning Monday, 5 October, 2015, allowing the public to feed back on proposals for the Council’s 2016-20 budget, which aim to address an overall shortfall of £126m.
People will be able to submit suggestions and views on topical issues, creating solutions to challenges and ideas for better serving the public and saving money. Users can also rate and comment on others’ posts, helping the Council to gather opinion on where it should invest in future.
If successful, the resource will be extended after the budget is set, crowdsourcing public opinions on different matters on an ongoing basis.
Building on the success of last year, a new online planner will also seek views on how the Council should deliver services, including the way parking is charged and how the Council works with voluntary and third party organisations.
By prioritising some services using the planner, the public can see how this impacts on other services, and how saving in one area can allow additional spending in another.
Councillor Alasdair Rankin, Finance Convener, said:
We really want to hear how people want the Council to invest and save money – your views will always help us to deliver services in a way that will benefit and improve lives.
By doing things differently and introducing our new online engagement tools, we’re making it easier than ever for people to contribute their views and ideas, and to understand the different challenges there are in setting the budget.
Councillor Bill Cook, Finance Vice Convener, added:
Everything you say will be taken into account when we draw up the final budget proposals to be put to the Council in early 2016, so we are extremely interested in hearing your views. Whether it’s via the planner, ideas forum, survey, phone, letter, email or social media we welcome all feedback.
At a meeting of the Finance & Resources Committee on Thursday 24 September, councillors approved a report on the draft budget, along with a set of budget proposals for public engagement over the coming months.
The full budget proposals, the budget planner and forum tools can be accessed at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/budget.
You can have your say by:
- going online to comment on proposals at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/budget
- completing the budget planner(external link) to have your say on what services you would spend or save money on in 2016 to 2020
- submitting your ideas to the dialogue page(external link)
- commenting on the 2016-20 proposals
You can do this by:
- phone on 0131 200 2305 (8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 3.40pm Friday)
- writing to us at Freepost, RSJC-SLXC-YTJY, Budget, Council Leader, City Chambers, High Street Edinburgh EH1 1YJ
- speaking to your local councillor