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Your Say on Council Services

A wide ranging public consultation is underway which seeks to find out what residents, community groups, employees and businesses think about potential budget measures that would enable West Lothian Council to meet an estimated £30.4 million budget gap.

The consultation is called Delivering Better Outcomes - Your Say on Council Services - and aims to encourage people to tell the council what they think about potential budget measures. 

Similar to all councils across Scotland, West Lothian Council has to make changes to the way it provides services to meet an estimated budget gap of £30.4 million for the period to 2018. The changes will impact on the services the council currently provides.

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In 2012 the council asked residents, community groups and businesses to help identify future priorities for the council and suggest how the council could save money to help balance the budget. In these two years, significant progress has been made in delivering the priorities and in reducing the budget gap, saving over £14million.

However the economic environment remains very challenging and the council faces considerable budget pressures. The demand for our services continues to rise and the level of funding we receive from the Government is not sufficient to pay for these services. Therefore the council must make changes to the way we provide services to balance our budget. 

The council has taken suggestions from the 2012 consultation and published a list of potential budget measures, which have been drawn up by council officers and would enable the council to balance its budget over the next three years.

Summary:

  • The council faces an estimated gap in funding of £30.4 million over the next three years
  • Scottish Government funding will not meet the council's increasing costs such as fuel and energy costs and inflation.  
  • Council Tax is likely to be frozen at the current rate until 2017/18
  • Substantial savings are needed so that priorities are delivered and budgets are balanced.
  • West Lothian has a growing young population and elderly population, increasing the demand for services
  • Since 2012 the council has already made savings of over £14 million

Who can take part?

  • The council would like to hear from people living and working in West Lothian. This includes: individuals, trade unions, local businesses and suppliers, council employees, the voluntary and community sectors and local networks, groups and forums.

When is the deadline for taking part?

  • The consultation is now open and closes on Friday 21 November. 

What happens after the 21 November?

  • The information submitted will be collated and discussed at a series of Policy Development and Scrutiny Panels (PDSPs) in December. The information will be used to inform the council's financial planning for the next three years.

How to take part in the consultation:

Alternatively, details will also be included in the Autumn edition of the council's newspaper Bulletin, which is distributed to all homes from Monday 20 October. Copies of the consultation are available at partnership centres, housing offices, CIS offices, libraries, the West Lothian Civic Centre and community centres. Paper responses can be sent to West Lothian Council, Yoursay 14, FREEPOST SCO7633, Livingston EH53 6BR or you can hand them into any council building listed above.

Parents and carers can hand their completed forms into their child/s school office.