Scrutiny councillors to take a look at city budget proposals
Members of the public and councillors are to have a chance to put budget questions directly to the Leader of Swansea Council.
A special meeting of the council’s Service Improvement and Finance Scrutiny Performance Panel will be taking place on February 10.
Cllr Rob Stewart and the council’s Chief Accountant will field questions from the public and councillors about existing proposals which aim to save up to £89m over the next few years, and also to update on how the better than expected provisional local government finance settlement for 2016-17, might affect those proposals.
It’s all part of the countdown to a Full Council meeting on February 25 at which the budget for next year is due to be set.
Cllr Chris Holley, who will chair the Scrutiny meeting, said: “I’d like to thank the Leader and the Chief Accountant for agreeing to come along and take questions from the public gallery as well as speak to us on the panel.
Cllr Holley added: “The Scrutiny Panel recognises residents have had a range of opportunities to have their say on the budget proposals but this will be an important chance for us to speak face-to-face with the Leader prior to the full council meeting.
“We’ll be putting our findings and observations in a letter to the Leader and I’ll be addressing Cabinet when it meets to discuss the budget on February 15.”
Over the past few months hundreds of residents, staff, local organisations and young people have taken the opportunity to have their say on the budget proposals.
Cllr Stewart said: “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the budget proposals with the scrutiny panel prior to Full Council. We’ve been open and transparent as I think it’s vital as many people as possible have the chance to speak up because, if approved, the proposals will affect us all over the coming years.
“I think the consultation process has shown that people understand the issues we face are not of our making and even though we face the kind of budget cuts not seen in local government for many years, that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement or innovation.”
He added: “Although we do face major financial challenges, there are also significant opportunities too to transform our city and to focus on our priorities including economic development, tackling poverty, building sustainable communities, educating our children and protecting the vulnerable.”
The Scrutiny Panel meeting is open to the public and starts at 11am in Committee Room 6, Guildhall, on February 10. If people wish to attend in order to ask a question they should contact the Scrutiny team on 01792 636292.
Questions can be submitted by phone, via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or through the blog at www.swanseascrutiny.co.uk.
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