Last night (Wednesday 24 September) Havering’s Cabinet agreed the launch of a major public consultation on widespread budget proposals.
The Council needs to reduce its overall budget by around a third over the next four years, in response to Government funding cuts, and the rising costs of providing services to a growing and ageing population.
The proposals would maintain weekly rubbish collections, protect the upkeep of parks, keep town centre CCTV and preserve vital social services. No libraries in Havering would face closure, but there would be changes to their opening hours. If agreed, the proposals would also usher in other changes to many council services.
From Monday 29 September, residents will be asked to have their say on the overall proposals. In addition there are three specific consultations being launched on the same day regarding proposed changes to libraries, parking and council tax support.
To have their say, residents should visitwww.havering.gov.uk/yoursay
Hard copies of the consultation documents will be available in libraries in due course and a special budget issue of Living in Havering will be published in October.
Three public meetings will also be held, attended by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Roger Ramsey and other members of the Cabinet. The dates are:
Wednesday 12th November, from 6.30pm at Elm Park Primary School.
Monday 17th November, from 6.30pm at the myplace centre, Harold Hill.
Thursday 20th November, from 6.30pm at Romford Baptist Church
The consultations will close on 29th December. Final decisions on the budget and council tax will be made in February.
Councillor Roger Ramsey, said:
“Like all councils, we are trying to make the best of a bad situation. We have no choice but to find significant savings, and our proposals try to protect the services that we believe are most important to local people. But if residents have other ideas then we want to hear from them. At this stage, nothing is set in stone.
“The surveys are short and simple and I would like to encourage everyone, even if you don’t normally take part in this sort of thing, to send us your views.”