Calls for Warwickshire people to ‘stand up and fight’ council cuts

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A councillor has urged residents to speak up over budget cuts of £67million to the county’s budget.

Last week it was revealed that Warwickshire County Council had been told that it had to make cuts of £67million by 2020.

In response to the future cuts the council invited residents across the county to have their say on their local services.

The public events,‘Let’s Talk’ were held over the last two weeks in Rugby, Warwick and Leamington.

Warwick Town Councillor, John Holland, who was at the town’s event last Saturday, said the roadshow was well attended.

He said: “It was a good idea to invite residents and clearly there was a lot of public interest, which was great, but in more ways it was a miserable day for Warwick because of the threat of the cuts ahead of us.”

As well as the roadshow, the council also launched an online budget calculator, which allows people to “adjust the budget and also shows the impact their spending decisions would have on their local services”.

Cllr Holland is urging the county’s residents to have their say on their local services.

He said: “People need to step up and say they do not want their services reduced. They should take part in the consultation and find a way of saying they do not want their service taken away.

“It would be inevitable for every service provided by the county council to be under threat because the local reduction is so great and quite unprecedented.”

Over the next few months the county will need to identify where it can make the £67million worth of cuts in the next three years.

In a public statement, leader of the county council, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said the massive cuts had come from “reductions in Government grant, inflation and additional demographic pressures” but highlighted that the council’s core ambitions leading up to the cuts were to protect vulnerable residents and to promote economic growth.

According to the council all comments and feedback received from the public events will “help to shape and inform the county council’s budget setting process”.

A spokesman for Warwickshire County Council said: “Our ‘Let’s Talk’ events have been well attended and hundreds of people have been giving their feedback. There has been a very positive response from everybody.”

The findings gathered from resident’s comments will be presented to the council’s cabinet in December with the final budget being set in February.

Residents who still want to have their say but missed the roadshow can email their views up until October 21 to letstalk@warwickshire.gov.uk