Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Camden's cuts challenge - post 6 - how we are talking to local people

No plan to tackle the massive cuts can be put forward without speaking to residents and local organisations.

Here's a short video explaining the challenge and what we will be doing over the next month:

September and October
During this period we will set out the scale of the challenge and start a discussion about how services might have to change, e.g. how we deliver them differently for less money and how we focus resource better.

This will involve a range of initiatives:

Public meetings - including local budget meetings/AAGs and forums for specific groups.

Service user group - we've already set up meetings with various groups to specifically explain the cuts and how they relate to them (e.g. Learning Disabilities Forum, Youth Council, Faith Forum etc).

Roadshows - these have started and will continue through to October in locations ranging from supermarkets to libraries and community centres.   Camden in Focus events run by the housing department have already started in Regents Park, Kings Cross and West End Sidings.

Written submissions - every household the chance to give their initial views and send their thoughts back by a free-post pull out in the Camden Magazine.

Online -  there are a number of ways for residents to give their views online, including an online survey tool created by local tech initiative VoxUp.

Meetings are all being advertised in a range of ways including the Camden Magazine, posters, direct emails and letters to interested groups and residents and tweets.  We'll try and reach as many people as possible but please help to spread the word.

Feedback will inform our proposals to be published in advance of the December Cabinet meetings.

November - December
We will be clearly and transparently communicating to residents what they have been telling us through September and October.  Actual proposals to balance the budget will be published in the normal way before the 17 December Cabinet meeting and public scrutiny from councillors at the Council will happen on 16 December.

January onwards
This will be when we start the process of formal consultations on specific service changes - we can't say exactly what the timetable will be because those decisions haven't yet been made.

Camden council will set the first of three annual budgets which will close the £70m gap by 2017.

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