Have your say on Northamptonshire County Council budget proposals

County council cuts could affect libraries, buses and trading standards.
County council cuts could affect libraries, buses and trading standards.

People can have their say about Northamptonshire County Council’s budget proposals at a series of public events over the next few weeks.

In October, the cash-strapped council announced they would need to find nearly £9.6million in savings to balance the budget in the next financial year 2018-19.

Buses, children's services and trading standards could all be hit by the savings.

As many as 28 county libraries could face closure - a proposal which prompted Northampton author Alan Moore to speak out against the county council.

Information on phase-one budget proposals for 2018-2019, as outlined last month, will be available and staff and representation from the council’s Cabinet will also be on hand to answer any queries so people can respond to the consultation.

The events will take place between 4pm and 7.30pm at the following places: Towcester on Thursday, November 16 at the Riverside Resource Centre, Islington Road; Northampton on Wednesday, November 22 in the Carnegie Room at Northampton Central Library, Abington Street; Wellingborough on Tuesday, November 28 in the Oxford Street Resource Centre at 38 Oxford Street; and in Corby on Thursday, November 30 at the Patrick Road Resource Centre in Patrick Road.

A number of events will also take place for the phase-two budget proposals, which are scheduled to be unveiled in early December.

These will take place in the following locations, with the date and venue to be confirmed shortly: Daventry District Area, East Northamptonshire District Area, Kettering Borough Area, and in Northampton.

Cabinet member for finance Cllr Robin Brown said: “These have been some of the toughest budget proposals we have ever had to put forward so it is more essential than ever that people take their time to read through the proposals and use any of the number of ways we have set up to ensure they have their say about them.

“These proposals are really just that – they are proposals and none of them are in any way set in stone. What is more definite is the amount of savings we are required to make so if anyone has any further ideas on how we might hit that target rather than through the proposals we have put forward we would be very keen to hear them.”

As well as the public events, there are a variety of other ways for people and organisations to have their say about the proposals during the council’s consultation period.

Other ways to have your say include visiting the Draft Budget and Council Plan Consultation webpage and completing the online survey, emailing consult@northamptonshire.gov.uk, writing to Draft Budget and Council Plan Consultation, Northamptonshire County Council, One Angel Square, Angel Street, Northampton, NN1 1ED, tweeting @mycountycouncil or posting comments on the county council Facebook page, and signing or submitting a petition or e-petition.

Customer and user groups will also be able to hold their own discussions – the information pack and group feedback form is also available on the Phase 1 Budget Proposals webpage.