Convener in live tweets about transport and environment budget

Transport and Environment Convener, Cllr Lesley Hinds, will be taking part in the Council’s first Budget question and answer session on twitter tomorrow.

The public can send tweets now to Cllr Hinds on edinburgh_cc to have their questions answered live on Wednesday afternoon. Here, she explains why she is taking part in the question and answer session.

There’s no escaping the fact that all councils across Scotland are facing enormous financial pressures in the current economic climate. There is an increased demand on our services but less money available for us to spend.

The City of Edinburgh Council needs to save £36 million in 2014/15 and a total of £120 million by 2017/18 so we have published our draft budget for 2014/15 five months ahead of proposals being finalised so residents and key stakeholders can give us feedback on it.

By going to www.edinburgh.gov.uk/budget the public can get an overview of our priorities, see the services where we propose to save money and where we want to spend more. We would like the public to tell us if you agree or have different ideas for 2014/15 and for the next three years. With a one billion pound budget it’s important the people of Edinburgh have their say on where the money should be spent.

We will continue to invest in cycling and walking through the Active Travel Action Plan, and keep the city moving efficiently by investing in roads and pavements. It is important that elderly people and those with mobility issues can access services, and one way we can help is by continuing to provide accessible transport through schemes such as Dial a Bus.

We want to make sure that Edinburgh remains as green as possible, and moves such as employing extra environmental wardens to tackle litter and dog fouling has helped. The Council’s Sustainable Edinburgh 2020 is in place and aims to reduce the Council’s energy costs, while managed weekly refuse collections have helped to reduced landfill costs and improved recycling.

There is increased pressure on our roads and landfill is getting more expensive so we want people to tell us what they think about proposals for increasing parking charges, changes to our recycling and waste services and review our fleet of vehicles and transport costs.

And we will listen to what people have to say - last year the responses from the public led to an extra £12m being invested on our roads, pavements and street lighting.

Yes the economic downturn has given us obvious challenges but we are still committed to delivering high quality public services that improve the lives of city residents. Our commitment is to protecting frontline services and investing our money wisely in those core areas set out in the capital Coalition pledges.

The full budget proposals can be accessed at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/budget and feedback can be given in a number of ways:

- fill in our simple online feedback form

- email us at councilbudget@edinburgh.gov.uk

- Write to us at Freepost, RSJC-SLXC-YTJY, Budget, Council Leader, City Chambers Edinburgh EH1 1YJ

Or:

- talk to a local councillor, tweet us using #edinbudget or comment on Facebook

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