Public’s responses will shape budget

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Over 3000 people visited the ‘Let’s Talk Budget’ consultation pages on the Council’s website – and Council leader David Ross says their input will be taken into account in Labour’s final budget proposals.

A total of 867 detailed responses were received online and in writing, and around 400 people also attended meetings and events held across Fife in December and January.

Cllr Ross said: “I’m pleased with the level of response to our budget consultation.

“The Council faces a very difficult financial situation, so it’s really important that we hear the views of people who use our services on how we should tackle this challenge.

“We will now review our budget proposals in the light of these comments before setting the final budget.”

The consultation process revealed the future of education and children’s services was a top concern, generating the highest number of comments.

Three out of four respondents said the Council should continue to run its own care homes, and three out of four also felt that the Council should review its approach to car parks.

A majority of respondents indicated willing to pay an additional amount in council tax if this was going directly to fund services for older people.

There was also concern about proposed cuts in music tuition, but support for an increase in the charge for concessionary rail travel.

Cllr Ross added: “What I take from these responses overall is people very much value the local services the Council provides and want to see these maintained.

“They recognise the difficult financial situation we face but, on the whole, they think we’re approaching this in a fair and responsible way.

“I am pleased to see there is significant support for the emphasis we are placing on prevention and early intervention.

“The consultation also confirms my view that people would be willing to pay a little more to protect vital local services like education and home care.”