FIFERS are being invited to continue to make their views known on the Council’s budget proposals.
Consultation meetings – including one in St Bryce Kirk, Kirkcaldy – received a mixed response from the public, but the Council is stressing there is still time to join the ‘online conversation’ on spending proposals ranging from investing in education and social work, to funding town centre improvements and supporting more training and apprenticeship places.
Councillor Linda Erskine, executive member for finance and corporate services, said: “Turnout at the local meetings was low in some areas and very heartening in others. I’d like to personally thank everyone who took the time and trouble to come along.
“Despite the fact there weren’t always a lot of people at the meetings, those who did come along were very appreciative of the opportunity to listen and discuss issues that are important to them.
“People were keen to talk about investment in their towns, care of the elderly and transportation – areas we’ve highlighted in our budget proposals.
“It’s important that we raise awareness of the challenges that lie ahead and give people clear information on the choices we will be facing not just next year but in the future.
“A budget gap of £66 million is not going to be easy to bridge and there will be some tough decisions to make.”
Areas where the Council is proposing cutting back – maintenance of parks and open spaces, contracts for local bus services, and transport, procurement and back office services – have prompted responses from the public.
The future of Fife’s school buildings has also been a major topic.
Cllr Erskine added: “We must continue to invest in priority areas. Early years, youth employment and better support for our elderly people are benefiting from the suggestions we’re putting forward.
“It seems from our conversations with people in the last few weeks that many share these views but there have been lots of suggestions that we will now take time to consider.”
People in Fife can still have their say online at www.fifedirect.org.uk/budget until Sunday. Budget packs with more information can be picked up at local offices and libraries.
Councillors will meet in February to decide the Council’s budget for 2013/14.