Budget Challenge – working with citizens to decide priorities

Councils across the UK have faced substantial cuts to their funding since 2010, and this is set to continue against a backdrop of rising demand for services. Several co-operative councils have launched campaigns to encourage citizens to help them make decisions about how council money should be invested, where the savings might be and what local priorities should be.

Oldham – Let’s Talk Budget

Oldham Council’s ‘Let’s talk budget’ initiative has set a £60 million challenge to local residents. Since 2009, Oldham Council has had to cut £141m out of its budget. It now has to cut a further £60m by 2017. The £60 million challenge is asking local residents, businesses, organisations and community and voluntary groups how they can all play their part in meeting this challenge and build a co-operative borough.

Edinburgh’s Budget Challenge

Edinburgh Council has developed an online budget planning tool to enable local residents to have their say on how they would use and prioritise the council budget.

The Council faces a budget challenge which affects how much money it has to invest in services in the coming years. Between 2015 and 2018, the Council’s annual budget will remain around £950 million. However the cost of providing services is expected to be £1.01 billion. It needs to save £67 million from its budget, over the next three years, to make sure it can provide the services that are important to the people of Edinburgh.