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Budget Consultation - July 2015

The consultation is now closed.

We have estimated that we need to save a further £39million over the next 3 years to 2019. This is because since 2013/14 the Government has cut Reading's grant funding by 40%. These cuts are taking place at a time when demand for local Council services in Reading is increasing.


Over the next three years the Council will be making a series of budget proposals to make the savings needed. The latest package of savings, efficiencies and income proposals, were agreed for consultation at a meeting of the Council's Policy Committee on 20 July 2015. These total £7.24million.

We wanted you to be aware of the proposals being made and to have your say.

We consulted between 24th July and 16th October 2015.

Your feedback showed that whilst you did not want to see cuts to Council services you appreciated that the Council faced difficult decisions and needed to make significant savings. You were concerned about the possible impact on services that protect the most vulnerable but you generally approved proposals that would bring efficiencies and operational savings.

The report on the consultation feedback was considered at the Council's Policy Committee on 30th November. View the report via Policy Committee 30 November 2015.

A number of suggestions for additional savings, alternative delivery models and service improvements were made. Your comments and suggestions will inform the development of services and the way in which changes are implemented for example our review of Library Services which is underway at the moment and a review of public convenience provision which will be completed in 2016.

Useful suggestions were made about extending the use of open spaces and parks as educational settings, encouraging sponsorship for parks, generating income by providing grounds maintenance services to local residents and businesses and online booking and payment systems for outdoor facilities. We will explore these further.

A number of suggestions were made about encouraging residents groups to clean up neighbourhoods. We currently participate in Local Community Action group events, including Rescue, Love Clean Reading, Housing Clean Up events, Residential Community Clean Up and Volunteer Community Clean Up events and we will continue to actively seek out and encourage other groups to join our programme.

We welcomed your positive response to LED lights because we can reduce power consumption as soon as the LED's are installed. Funding of £6.86 million has been awarded to Reading to swap all street lights and sign lights to LED by April 2019.

With regard to our proposal on Commissioning from the Voluntary Sector, you were keen to see support for the voluntary sector continue, and a recognition of the added value provided by volunteers and voluntary organisations. As a result of extensive consultation on the bidding framework, we changed the commissioning themes and will provide a separate grants transition scheme for groups managing community buildings. 



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