Focussing on the Future with Wiltshire Council gets under way
"These meetings are an important part of the decision-making process and really provide an opportunity to discuss with the public the challenges and plans ahead."Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council
The first of the public meetings to discuss the services that Wiltshire Council provides and its plans for future years was held in Salisbury yesterday (7 January).
The Focussing on the Future public meetings are spread across four dates in locations around Wiltshire.
The next one is on 9 January from 5:30pm at Monkton Park, Chippenham. The final two are on 15 and 16 January at Trowbridge and Devizes respectively. The Trowbridge meeting will be live streamed at this link.
The meetings are an opportunity to focus on how the council is changing to provide the services that taxpayers expect and need both now and in the years ahead.
Since 2017/18, the council has saved around £67 million by working more efficiently and prioritising services, but it estimates a further £15 million must be saved next year.
Demand for services continues to grow, especially in social care, at a higher rate than the current budget. This means strong financial planning is vital, as well as a programme of transformation, digitalisation and commercialisation. Wiltshire Council has also pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030 and its councillors have agreed to seek to make the county of Wiltshire carbon neutral by this date.
At the meeting Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, provided an insight into the important decisions ahead and how changes already made had transformed services including digitalisation, with automated systems providing more efficient services and a £12m commitment to replacing ageing lights with new LED ones.
Cllr Philip Whitehead said: "These meetings are an important part of the decision-making process and really provide an opportunity to discuss with the public the challenges and plans ahead.
"We want people to have a honest conversation with us and air the issues they want to discuss. The meetings provide the all-important context to our decision-making process and the plans ahead, and I hope people will join us for the upcoming meetings."
Dates and venues of Focussing on the Future meetings
Wednesday 15 January 2020
Cotswold Room, County Hall
Thursday 16 January 2020
Devizes Community Hub and Library