Earlier this year, Tamworth Borough Council gave people living and working in the borough a unique opportunity to have a role in forming the authority’s spending priorities for the coming year.
Consultation on the key issues affecting the 2016/17 budget was carried out through the citizen panel and three online surveys; a residents’ survey, a business survey and a voluntary sector survey.
The results have now been collated in the Budget Consultation report, which went before the council’s Cabinet on Thursday (October 22).
The priorities identified were:
- Work with businesses to create more employment
- Create opportunities for business growth
- Spend more money on tackling anti-social behaviour and cleaning streets, parks and open spaces
- Encourage people to take pride in Tamworth to reduce littering and dog fouling
- Protect the most vulnerable people in the community
- More affordable, decent housing
- Increase spending on refuse collection and recycling
- Encourage more tourism
- Provide school leavers with a better chance of getting an apprenticeship or job
- Do more to tackle obesity, including healthy cooking lessons
- The development of the town centre is a priority to encourage new businesses into the town, in particular to attract better quality shops
- Increase charges for leisure services and public spaces.
- No increase in parking charges or town centre rents – the majority of residents would like to see these reduced to encourage more people into the town centre.
- Internal cost savings should be made at the Council.
- The majority of respondents would like to see council tax increase by less than 1%.
The consultation found that the top three most important factors, which make somewhere a good place to live, are low levels of crime, good health services and good job prospects.
A total of 276 responses were received to the three surveys, made up of 243 residents, 18 businesses and 15 community and voluntary organisations.
The findings of the consultation will now be used and taken into account when the budget for 2016/17 is set.
Tamworth Borough Council Leader Cllr Daniel Cook said, “It is vital that the residents of Tamworth, those businesses which are based here and voluntary organisations are given a real, active role in forming the council’s spending plans.
“The responses we have received from the consultation are very positive and it is good to see that there is a high level of realism from those responses. People can see that there is not a limitless pot of money and that savings have to be made. We are very grateful to all those who took the time to be involved in this process.”