On Friday 6 November the draft proposals for service change, income generation and savings in 2016/17 will be published by Torbay Council. A six week consultation will also begin to help form the final budget proposals.

The council has already made savings of £50 million in the last five years and along with other local authorities, is in the process of identifying further savings to meet the challenges posed by significant grant reductions and increasing cost and demand pressures in services.

Torbay Council now needs to make further reductions estimated at £32.4 million over the next three years, including £12.4 million in 2016/17.

Despite these cut backs, the council still spends approximately 3.1 million per week on services in the community (excluding funding for schools and housing benefit payments) and also plans to spend more than £22 million on capital schemes during 2016/17.

Torbay Mayor, Gordon Oliver said: “Difficult decisions have to be made and we welcome feedback on the latest proposals for service change, savings and income generation. I would like to stress that these are draft proposals; no final decisions have been taken.

“Further reductions in local government finance support combined with increasing cost and demand pressures on services means we have no option but to make changes. With ever decreasing levels of funding we face tough choices, but we are committed to finding the best way of maintaining as many services as possible that the public value alongside those we have to provide by law. This is not going to be easy as we have already made significant savings and it will be extremely hard to find another £32.4 million.

“That is why it is so important for local residents and organisations to give us their views on the draft proposals for the next financial year - we will listen to you and we will take your views into consideration. We would also welcome ideas on how we can meet the on going financial challenges we will face in future years.”

Details about the council’s draft budget (including its draft proposals) will be available on Friday 6 November at www.torbay.gov.uk/budget2016-17.

A six week online consultation also gets underway on Friday 6 November at www.torbay.gov.uk/consultation. Paper copies of the questionnaire will become available in all Torbay Libraries, Connections and Harbour offices from the week starting Monday 9 November. The deadline for completed questionnaires is Friday 18 December 2015. Additional discussions will also be held with partner organisations directly affected by specific service change proposals.

Views gathered through this consultation will help to inform the final proposals and a formal decision will be made by the Council in February 2016, when it will also agree its budget for 2016/2017 and the Council Tax requirement.

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