St Edmundsbury Borough Council reveals consultation results

Mark Westley Photography'Bury Bus Station information centre. ANL-140723-194810009
Mark Westley Photography'Bury Bus Station information centre. ANL-140723-194810009
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Council bosses have revealed the results of its consultation to help make £1.5 million in savings next year - pledging to listen to what residents want.

Around 1,000 people responded to St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s questionnaire, which gave a number of options to cut its costs including suggestions for the information centre at Bury’s bus station, using volunteers to replace staff at parks, open spaces and museums, and changing bin collection days.

The council has warned that these options would not result in the full £1.5 million of savings and it may have to look at other options such as increasing revenue through fees and charges for services, which brought in £12.9 million last year.

It admitted that a rise in council tax is likely at some point, but would be a ‘last resort’.

Conservative Borough Cllr David Ray said: “We are behaving more commercially to generate more income, and we continue to look at increasing efficiency, but all the easy options have gone.”

A marketing exercise for the future of the information centre at Bury’s bus station gained interest from five organisations, with two also interested in the building at Mildenhall bus station.

However, of 343 bus users asked, only 25 per cent said they would like to see the bus station offered to a business or community group. The more preferable option was to reduce the centre’s opening hours, which 39 per cent were in favour of.

“No decisions have been taken, but we are a bit further down the track in that we know there is interest from organisations,” said Cllr Ray.

Of a possible council tax rise he added: “There will come a time when we have to put up council tax, but at the moment that is a last resort.”