Today Bristol City Council have opened a consultation on our draft five-year plan, 2018-19 budget proposals and a range of ways to close its budget gap of £108 million between April 2018 and April 2023.
I am inviting everyone who lives, works and visits Bristol to review the draft Corporate Strategy and budget proposals and have their say: www.bristol.gov.uk/corpstrategy.
The ‘Tough Times, High Hopes’ consultation includes draft proposals which outline ways to make the £52m of savings required next year (2018/19). Through it people are able to give their feedback on these, as well as Council Tax and Adult Social Care levy proposals.
I’ve asked for an online tool to simulate the budget and try their hand at dealing with the budget gap themselves: http://bristol.budgetsimulator.com. People can use the online tool to better understand the consequences of making savings. However, the budget simulator is not a formal part of the consultation process and people are advised to complete the main survey alongside it.
Bristol is a successful city that has much to be proud of. We want everyone to share in that success and have real hope and aspiration.
We face many challenges in achieving that, not least a £108m budget gap over the next five years as we try to deal with the consequences of austerity, increased costs and the rising population in the city.
To achieve this, the council needs to change and so does what people expect of it. We are being clearer that we are only one part of the wider city network. We will do our utmost to protect our services but we must be more than solely a service provider. We want to be more of a development organisation which empowers people, working far more in partnership to make this happen.
These are not easy decisions and your views will help us shape Bristol’s future.