Public to help shape future Council services in Edinburgh

People in Edinburgh are being asked by the Council to help shape future services in the area through an unprecedented engagement programme which was announced today (Friday, 18 June).

A full engagement programme with the public and other stakeholders is being proposed by the City of Edinburgh Council to give local residents, businesses and other organisations the opportunity to communicate their priorities for Council expenditure in the run up to the 2011/12 budget in February.

The programme, which will last for the next nine months, is outlined in a report which will be considered by a meeting of the Council next week.

The scale of the financial challenge facing the public sector is unheard of in modern times. This means that services may change significantly during the next five years and the engagement programme will also inform people about the impact future budget decisions are likely to have.

The programme will include business and neighbourhood events and road shows, use of traditional and social media as well as Council's website and publications.

Council Leader, Jenny Dawe, said: "The Council is facing some of the most difficult financial challenges experienced in living memory as we start to look at the budget for 2011/12. Hard choices will have to be made to ensure that we continue to protect frontline services and support the city's most vulnerable citizens.

Over the next nine months the Council will be in constant dialogue with stakeholders and members of the public to make sure we take the whole city with us and make the right choices that will affect us for many years to come.

Every possible way to save money and improve efficiency, including sharing services with other Councils, and looking at other ways of delivering services is being explored. Sound financial management is also key to this process and I am delighted to report that all departments remained within budget in 2009/10."

Notes to editors
It is intended that the programme is carried out at minimal cost with in-house resources being used and in-kind support being sought from city partners or businesses wherever possible.


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