Starting from today (Wednesday 3 October) and running until the end of the month, Nottinghamshire County Council is inviting residents, businesses, councils and other stakeholders to share their views on the future of local government in Nottinghamshire.
This is not a formal consultation – but the views of local people and organisations are extremely important, as they will help to shape any potential future plans for re-structuring in the future.
Councillors will consider responses to this first phase of public engagement alongside a raft of other evidence at the Full Council meeting on 13 December, when they will decide whether or not to pursue a preferred option for change, which the Council would then formally consult the public on next year.
Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Local government in Nottinghamshire is at a crossroads. Due to significant reductions in the funding we receive to provide services and continually increasing demand for our social care services, we are facing the prospect of huge cuts to frontline services and increasing council tax, year-on-year, unless there is a fundamental change in the way we operate.
“Since 2010 – under different political leaderships – the Council has saved over £270m in running costs, yet we still face a budget gap of £54m. We have exhausted all the options available to make the cost reductions we need without significantly impacting local people and reorganisation of local government in the county appears to be the only alternative.
“Local government services impact every one of us, every day of our lives, so this is a very important debate. I would urge everyone to read the Future Nottinghamshire document and let us know their views.”
The public engagement work is being carried out by independent social research company, ORS. They have extensive experience of public engagement work across the public sector, including work to seek the views of the public on local government reorganisation in Dorset, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire.
The first phase of the public engagement work taking place this month will include:
- An online survey at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/futurenotts
- Focus groups with members of the public from across the county
- Meetings with district councils, parish councils, businesses and the voluntary sector
Further details, including the Future Nottinghamshire public engagement document which contains comprehensive background information, are available from all 60 Nottinghamshire libraries or online at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/futurenotts
The survey closes on Wednesday 31 October.