North Yorkshire residents are being invited to learn more about the financial challenges facing the county.
As part of the county council’s budget consultation, public events will be held across the county over the next two weeks. At the events, people will be able to talk to council officers and will then be encouraged to complete the county council’s online budget consultation, Your Services, Your Say.
North Yorkshire County Council leader Councillor Carl Les said: “Demand for our services continues to increase, particularly in the areas of social care for both children and adults, and our total funding is reducing. We estimate that by the end of austerity, every £1 we had to spend on services will have fallen to about 60p.
“That’s why it is really important that people take part in this consultation and we hear their opinions. Our consultation events will enable people to become better informed about the pressures and options facing the county before giving their views.”
The budget engagement events are at:
- Thirsk Community Library, Meadowfields Extra Care Housing, 7 January, 12.30pm to 2pm.
- Selby Summit Indoor Adventure Centre/Selby Leisure Centre, 7 January, 3.30pm to 5pm.
- Leyburn Arts and Community Centre, 11 January, noon to 2pm.
- Victoria Shopping Centre, Harrogate, 14 January, 12.30pm to 2pm.
- Scarborough College, 16 January, 12.30pm to 2pm.
- Skipton library, 16 January, 10am to noon.
- Helmsley Library, 18 January, 11.30am to 1pm.
With responsibility for the welfare and education of more than 128,000 children and young people in North Yorkshire, the council spends £88m on children’s services each year, £22m of that on home-to-school transport alone.
The council also supports thousands of older people and younger adults, including people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental ill health, as well as their carers. Adult social care services are delivered in numerous ways and include prevention, reablement and supporting people to live independently in their own homes as well as living in residential and nursing care.
The council spends about 40 per cent of its overall budget – almost £250m – on public health and adult social care, supporting people to live longer, healthier, more independent lives.
More than £100m is spent each year on areas such as waste, highways and winter gritting and the council is responsible for one of the largest and most diverse road networks in England, covering 5,800 miles of roads and 1,630 bridges. The council is also responsible for disposing of the household waste collected by district councils, processing 6,000 tonnes of black bag waste every week at the Allerton Waste Recovery Park.
The projected budget shortfall of nearly £200m by 2021-22 has been met in part by the council achieving £157m of savings so far. However, a further £40m will need to be found to meet the remaining funding gap. In response to this, the council’s annual budget consultation summarises service priorities and seeks people’s views on the proposed savings approach for 2019-20.
Take part in the consultation by Monday, 21 January, to make sure your views are considered by the council’s executive when it meets on 29 January. Responses received after that date will still be included and shared with the full council when it meets on Wednesday, 20 February.
You can also find out more in our Your Services, Your Say video.