Tameside public to have say on public services


The public is being asked to balance Tameside Council's budget as it faces cuts of £38m over the next two years.

An online ‘budget calculator’ has been launched to allow residents and traders to say which services they would slash and which they would save.

The tool will allow people to slash and add funds to various council services while understanding the consequences their actions would have.

They will be asked to save money in a number of ways, including through increased volunteering, selling council buildings, expanding the bin swap scheme and cutting member allowances.

Council leader Keiran Quinn said he hoped scheme will install a ‘sense of community’ within the borough.

He said: “It’s a perennial issue for councils but it’s getting harder and harder to make decisions.

“We want the community to understand the choices we make.

“This tool shows people that if they make a decision in one area, the consequences it will have in another.”

Coun Quinn said ‘significant’ savings could be made if more people volunteer with an estimated saving of up to £1.7m a year if 100 older people continue to be supported in their homes.

By increasing the number of foster carers in the area by 10, the council could potentially save up to £1m.

While an estimated maximum of £3m could be saved if the council’s bin swap scheme was rolled out across the borough.

Coun Quinn promised that the council would continue to value ‘services over buildings’ as it battles estimated cuts of £24m for 2015/16.

He added: “As a council we are doing are doing everything we can to reduce costs. However, we can’t face this challenge alone.

“We need to come together as a community to focus on making Tameside a place where everyone does their bit and shares the benefits.”

The budget calculator will be available for people to use on the Tameside council website until December 9.

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