Council pledges to listen as it looks to shape future budgets

Lord Smith

Lord Smith

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Have your say

WIGAN residents are being asked whether freezing council tax has benefited their household as The Deal for the Future budget consultation launches in the borough.

This is just one of eight questions Wigan Council is asking residents as they encourage them to have their say on a new, all-encompassing deal which sets out their priorities for the next five years.

The responses will help them prioritise its spending in areas that matter to residents – helping to shape how the council operates by 2020.

Since 2010, the council has saved over £100m through transformation and making difficult decision, rather than cutting services.

By 2019, the council needs to save another £60m.

The Deal for Future aims to deliver these savings while securing growth and delivering reform over the next five years. The Deal for the Future outlines the vision for the authority over the next five years and includes a number of ambitious plans including the creation of 5,000 jobs, 5,000 new homes and multi-purpose community hubs where residents can access a range of services under one roof.

These proposals have been designed to reform services while stimulating economic growth – making sure that residents have access to quality and efficient services based in their local neighbourhood, while giving them the opportunity to live a long and prosperous life.

Residents are being urged to have their say on the new deal by answering a series of questions about the council’s plans. One of those questions asks if residents have benefited from frozen council tax for the last two years and whether they value the freeze.

This Council Tax freeze has led to Wigan borough having the third cheapest council tax in Greater Manchester.

Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council, pictured, said: “It was just five years ago that Wigan Council received the biggest budget cut in its history. This cut was the third worst for any local authority, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

“Through The Deal we’ve taken most of the simple savings, like merging our IT service with Bolton Council, but we’ve run out of quick wins. Now we need to focus on changing the way we deliver services – focusing on the people behind the services, not the buildings.

“Despite this we’ve managed to freeze council tax because residents told us that’s what they wanted. This survey will help us to see if residents have benefitted from this.”

Residents can either comment on the plans online via www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/Consultations/, or by emailing 300voices@wigan.gov.uk.

By sharing your views you will be in with a chance to win one of three £100 grand arcade vouchers.