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2011/12 Budget Consultation

13 Sep 10- 11 Oct 10

In October 2010. the Council launched a Budget Simulator on its website giving people a say on how the council should save millions of pounds from its budget.

The web-based Budget Options Simulator let Poole residents see how much the council spends on services and suggest ways to save 10 per cent on the council's budget for 2011/12.

What is it about?
The Government is reducing the public sector spending to cut the national debt. This means all public bodies, including the Borough of Poole, will get less money to fund services. As a result, we anticipate that the Council’s budget for local services in Poole will have to be reduced by approximately 10% by the end of the next financial year (2011/12). This means the Council must save money by reducing what it spends and look at raising more from fees and charges to fund local services.

What we asked residents to do?
We asked residents to tell us where they thought the savings of 10% could be made and what role fees and charges should have in funding local services to inform the budget setting process.

How will this help?
The Budget Options Simulator showed the services we provide and how much each costs. This helped to decide where spending should be reduced or increased. The consultation helped us understand what you think our priorities should be in future.

The online tool showed how much the council currently spends on a range of local services and asked residents where they would decrease or increase spending or charges with the aim of reducing the budget by 10 per cent.

People without personal access to the internet could go online at any Poole library where staff were trained to help residents complete the simulator.

The summary results are now available online.

Results

The summary report summarises the feedback from the 2010 Budget Consultation carried out 12 September - 11 October 2010. The consultation centred on an on-line budget simulator, supplemented by three workshops with residents, a workshop with members of the Youth Forum, an event for Residents’ Associations and Poole’s Youth Conference.

Consultation Aims

The purpose of the web budget simulator consultation was to engage local people in the budget setting process, with the specific aims were to:

  • gain an understanding of residents' relative priorities;

  • provide opportunity for residents to inform the budget setting process.

Summary

The budget simulator and workshops consultation highlighted that residents welcomed the opportunity to be engaged in the budget setting process, but many found it a difficult job, with tough decisions to be made.

The simulator feedback gives an indication of stakeholders’ views on the Council’s budget. It is based on the 610 responses to the open consultation, with results over-represented by males and those aged 30-59. The majority of respondents were residents (94%). 14% were staff. 135 of the responses were entered from Council IP addresses, which include libraries. There were a higher number of public transport users (76%) than would have been expected in a sample survey.

The results show that residents' priorities include:

  • Street cleaning
  • Children and Young People's Social Care
  • Community Safety
  • Public Transport
  • Housing

Non-statutory services including Culture and Community Learning, sports and parks received a mixed response. Some use the services and see their value in improving quality of life for people; whilst others view them as non-essential services that users should pay for.

Culture and Community Learning, Benefits Administration, Customer Services, Planning and Other Operational Support Services were viewed as least important.

Whilst respondents see the importance of Adult Social Care and its role in supporting vulnerable people in the community, as it takes up such a large percentage of the overall budget, cuts or savings have to be made to meet the required target.

The majority of respondents felt that fees and income should be increased (70% of 610 respondents); however they did want the opportunity to vary their responses according to fees, for example, parking, beach huts. Many respondents felt that people should pay for the services that they use, although there were differences of opinion on car parking and beach huts.

Young people prioritised Children’s Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services.

The Government is reducing the public sector spending to cut the national debt. This means all public bodies, including the Borough of Poole, will get less money to fund services

As a result, we anticipate that the Council’s budget for local services in Poole will have to be reduced by approximately 10% by the end of the next financial year (2011/12)

This means the Council must save money by reducing what it spends and look at raising more from fees and charges to fund local services.

We asked residents to tell us where they thought the savings of 10% could be made and what role fees and charges should have in funding local services to inform the budget setting process.

The Budget Options Simulator showed the services we provide and how much each costs. This helped to decide where spending should be reduced or increased. The consultation helped us understand what you think our priorities should be in future.

The online tool showed how much the council currently spends on a range of local services and asked residents where they would decrease or increase spending or charges with the aim of reducing the budget by 10 per cent.

People without personal access to the internet could go online at any Poole library where staff were trained to help residents complete the simulator.

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Contact us

Email 
research@poole.gov.uk

Telephone
01202 633086

Address
Corporate Research Team
Civic Centre
Poole
BH15 2RU