Dear Parish Planning Groups,
As I am sure you are aware, councils across the country are under pressure to reduce spending: West Berkshire is no exception. Deciding where to make savings is a difficult job and we’d like your views on how this could be done. To do this, we’d like you to use our online Budget Simulator where you can send us your suggestions as to where you think savings or more investment could be made.
The purpose of the exercise is for us to gain a broad understanding from yourselves of where your priorities are for increasing, maintaining or reducing spending. The results will greatly help us in guiding our budgets over the next few years.
Because of the nature of the exercise, it is unfortunately only available online -see www.westberks.gov.uk/budgetsimulator.
Your views are important. Equally, it is crucial that as many local residents are aware of – and are able to contribute to – this exercise as possible. If you feel that any friends, family members or other community groups may have an interest in participating in this exercise then please feel free to pass on the web address to them. Please note, the exercise closes on 17th December.
We have written to all parish councils, alerting them to the exercise and providing some tools to help promote it within local communities. Please contact your local parish council if you feel you can help promote the exercise amongst groups / people you work with in any way.
For example, we have made available some posters to put up on noticeboards / village hall windows / local shop / pub, or anywhere else you think would be visible. See attached for an electronic version of this poster. Please let me know if you would like some hard copies and I will send some out to you.
Equally, we provided some flyers to make available in local shops / pubs / offices or to distribute with any mailouts you may be doing. Again, if you need any more copies of these, please let me know and I will send some more out to you.
If you have any newsletters going out over the next few weeks, we would appreciate it if you could include an image of the poster / flyer within it to help raise awareness – you can use the electronic version attached to paste it into a page. Alternatively, attached is the budget simulator logo which you may like to use if you are intending to comment on the exercise as part of your newsletter’s editorial.
I do hope you yourself will be able to participate. It should take no longer than 10 minutes of your time. This is an important exercise and your views will help shape the spending priorities for the council over the next few years. If you provide us with your contact details, we will send you the results once they are all assessed.
Please get in touch with Jason Teal – who is leading on the exercise – if you have any queries on the exercise, or more information – firstname.lastname@example.org / 01635 519102.
Many thanks in advance,
Principal Policy Officer (Community Planning)
West Berkshire Council
Tel: 01635 503019