Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Council cuts: suddenly Barnet wants to know what we think!

The Hendon Times alerts us to the fact that when it comes to making unpopular decisions Barnet council is suddenly all agog for our opinion. I think it's called passing the buck. Anyway, here's the report with the details of where and when you can have your say on which of your limbs you would prefer to have hacked off. Opting for corporeal wholeness is not an option.

Have your say on next year's council budget

By Sarah Cosgrove

Residents are being asked how the council should “tighten its belt” in its budget next year.

Barnet Council is holding five events over the next few weeks to test run its budget plans for 2010/11.

These will be three residents' forum meetings, which are to include a period set aside specifically for budget consultation, and two Leader Listens events which will adopt the same structure.

The council will also be giving residents the opportunity to comment on its website at www.barnet.gov.uk.

Councillor Lynne Hillan, cabinet member with responsibility for resources said: "We face a twin pressure of increasing demands on some services with restrictions on funding.

“The credit crunch is hitting both the council's income and national budgets and we are obviously in for a period of belt tightening.

“Barnet Council already has low back office costs compared to other London boroughs which, along with a comparatively low grant from central government, limits our options for another round of efficiency savings.”

Cllr Hillan said the council's Future Shape plans will make structural changes which will save money but said councillors would have to make difficult decisions.

Where you can have your say:

Monday November 23 - Finchley and Golders Green - St Michael's Church, The Riding, Golders Green, from 6.30pm.

Tuesday November 24 - Chipping Barnet - Chipping Barnet Library, 3 Stapylton Road, from 6.30pm.

Wednesday November 25 - Hendon - Barnet Multicultural Centre, Algernon Road, Hendon, from 6.30pm.

Thursday November 26 - 6.30pm (budget section at 7.30pm) - Deansbrook Junior School, Hale Drive, Mill Hill, from 6.30pm.

Thursday December 9 - 6.30pm (budget section at 7.30pm) - Hampstead Garden Suburb United Synagogue, Norrice Lea, Hampstead, from 6.30pm.

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