On Friday 4 November 2016 the Mayor’s draft proposals for service change, income generation and efficiencies in 2017/18 will be published by Torbay Council.

Anyone who would like to hear more about these proposals, ask questions and make comments is being invited to come along to the Grand Hotel, Torquay on Thursday 1 December 2016. Two budget events are being hosted by the Mayor, one starting at 2pm and a repeated event at 7pm.

The council is committed to creating a prosperous and healthy bay and a council fit to meet the challenges of the future. It’s a big task; £21.5 million pounds worth of savings have to be made by 2020 – that’s on top of the £62 million already made in the last six years. In total, the cumulative impact of reductions over 9 years from 2011/12 to 2019/20 to achieve a balanced budget will be over £400m.

In order to meet the financial challenges the council will, through its Transformation Programme, develop new ways of working and do things differently.

Service changes, increased income and efficiencies totalling £6 million are being proposed for 2017/18. Despite this, Torbay Council still spends approximately £3.2m per week on services in the community (excluding funding for schools and housing benefit payments), and also plans to spend more than £40m on capital schemes.

Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver said: “In order to meet the financial challenges we have to find alternative ways of working and make some difficult decisions. Central Government reductions in local government grants and increasing demands on our services means we have no option.

“It isn’t easy, but we have to find ways of changing the way the council operates and we are committed to finding ways of doing this. We have been and will continue to explore every option. We are looking at what we provide, how we can deliver services in the future and how we can work differently with our local communities and partners to help us do this.

“The latest draft budget proposals will have an impact on local residents, visitors, our communities and service users, and if I had a choice I would not be proposing to make these changes. I’d like to stress that these are draft proposals and haven’t been agreed yet. Final decisions won’t be taken until consultations have been carried out and the feedback has been fully examined.

“I welcome everyone’s ideas on these proposals and how we can continue to deliver as many valued services as possible alongside those we have to provide by law. I also welcome all new ideas you have on how we can meet the on-going financial challenges we will face in the future.”

A six week consultation will commence on Monday 7 November 2016. Members of the public and partner organisations are being encouraged to have their say before the consultation closes on Sunday 18 December. The consultation will be available at www.torbay.gov.uk/consultation or as paper copies in all Torbay Libraries and Harbour offices. Specific consultation will take place on proposals where individual service users or organisations are expected to be affected.

Feedback from the consultation will be considered and will inform the final proposals which will be presented to Council for approval in February 2017 when the Revenue and Capital Budgets for 2017/2018 will be agreed alongside the Council Tax. The Mayor will also host a budget event on Thursday 1 December 2016 at the Grand Hotel, Torquay. This will provide an opportunity to hear about the Mayor’s proposals, to ask questions and make comments.

The Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Board will be holding its Priorities and Resources Review Panels during November 2016 which will also provide an opportunity to hear about the Mayor’s proposals in detail.

A summary of the draft budget proposals for 2017/18 will be available from Friday 4 November at www.torbay.gov.uk/budget2017-18

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