Councils appeal for ideas to save £2.4m

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Residents are being urged to help two councils cut £2.4 million from their budget next year.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils have set up a Budget Challenge for people to submit ideas on how they can balance their books.

These would cover what services should be kept or lost and what local people are willing to pay more for.

Residents would simply need to answer five questions about the current way both councils are being run and what changes might be needed. The councils will be considering all responses submitted by Friday.

Due to cuts in grants received from the Government, an increase in inflation and demands on services, between 2013 and 2015 the two councils will need to find an additional £4.6 million of savings.

“These are tough times and tough decisions will have to be taken. We need residents’ input to help us make the right decisions,” said Mid Suffolk councillor Derrick Haley, portfolio holder for finance.

Babergh councillor Jennie Jenkins, a member of the strategic and financial planning group added: “Both Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils are already working hard to achieve tough savings targets but it has been made clear that we need to do so much more.”

Despite being unusually early in the budgeting process for either council to approach outside organisations and residents, Cllr Jenkins emphasised the need for people’s opinions and ideas.

To take part or to find out more information visit the councils’ websites – www.babergh.gov.uk or www.midsuffolk.gov.uk – or by speaking to your local district councillor.