Residents are being reminded that a Bay wide event will be taking place in Paignton on Monday 7 December 2015 to discuss the current budget proposals for the next year. Torbay Mayor, Gordon Oliver will host the event at the Redcliffe Hotel, Paignton from 6.30pm.

Members of the public and local organisations will be given the opportunity to discuss the financial challenges facing Torbay and can help to inform the final budget proposals.

Torbay Council has already made savings of £50 million in the last five years and now needs to make further reductions estimated at £32.4 million over the next three years, including £12.4 million in 2016/17. Along with other local authorities, it is in the process of identifying further savings to meet the challenges posed by significant grant reductions and increasing service pressures.

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.

The budget event is being held during a six week consultation period, which ends on Friday 18 December 2015.

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 over the next three years.

“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.”

Everyone is welcome to the meeting in Paignton to find out more about the proposals and discuss the issues.

People who would like to express their views are also being encouraged to provide formal feedback through the consultation. The online questionnaire can be found at budgetconsultation16-17.htm and paper copies are available at all Torbay libraries, harbour offices and in Connections offices.

Views through this six week consultation will help to form 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 its Council Tax requirement.

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