WHEN I was elected Mayor of North Tyneside in 2009, I promised residents that I would be prudent with our finances and make sure that we used public money in the most effective way possible.
North Tyneside, like every council in the country, needs to continue to look at its spending plans and work within the resources available.
We are already making significant progress.
In 2011-12 we achieved £16m of efficiencies and we are on track to achieve a further £16m in this financial year – but we need to continue to do more.
Before we make those decisions we are keen to gather feedback from as many residents as possible on key issues and priorities, through the new ‘Voice Your Choice’ programme, which we launched this week.
This is a different way of engaging with residents – as rather than asking people to come to meetings we are going to have council staff out and about to gather your views.
Can I please ask that as many people as possible take up this opportunity to let us know what they think.
Over the three-week period our council officers will be out and about around the borough speaking to people on three different themes.
They will also be letting people know where they are through Twitter – @VoiceYchoice
Each week our residents will also be able to make your views known on these different topics by filling in a questionnaire online:
Our People (October 8 to 14) – how best to deliver services to adults, children and families, in the context of rising demand in some areas.
Our Services (October 15 to 21) – review the way in which services across the council are delivered, such as libraries and leisure centres.
Our Places (October 22 to 28) – find out more about the work to reduce the borough’s and the council’s carbon footprint and energy costs, include waste services and street-lighting.
Residents don’t need to worry if you miss the questionnaire or our mobile Voice Your Choice team.
You can also let us know your views by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by letter to Engagement team, North Tyneside Council, Quadrant, Cobalt Business Park, Silverlink North, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY or by Facebook www.facebook.com/vyc2012
This budget consultation is open until October 28. The information from this exercise will feed into the initial budget proposals, which will be considered by cabinet on Monday, November 26.
MRS LINDA ARKLEY