CONSULTATION has now started on the county council’s budget proposals for Carmarthenshire.

The Executive Board confirmed at its meeting today that consultation should begin to help the council set its budget for the next three years.

Suggestions have been put forward from a range of areas including social care, leisure, culture, highways and transport, and education.

The council needs to save £8.5million for the next financial year – 2018-19 – and a total of £31million over the next three years.

All views gathered from the consultation, which runs from now until January 8, will be included in the budget report which will go before County Councillors for decision in February.

In the meantime, extensive consultation is taking place with seminars for county councillors, town and community councils, a public forum, scrutiny committees, schools budget forum and trade unions meetings.

An Insight day is also being held to consult with young people, including Coleg Sir Gar students, and pupils from secondary schools across the county.

The survey is available online at i-Local, and hard copies are available from Customer Service Centres.

The proposals include both managerial and policy efficiency savings. Managerial savings are efficiencies that result in no perceivable change to the overall level of service delivery but may in some instances affect quality of service provided, whereas policy savings are service rationalisation proposals that will directly affect service delivery.

Resources Executive Board member Cllr David Jenkins said: “Over the coming few months the budget proposals will be used as the basis for consultation

“The provisional settlement from Welsh Government was better than we anticipated, however there was still a reduction of 0.5 % – significant when we take into account inflationary changes and demands.

“Departments have worked hard again this year to identify efficiency savings to assist in balancing the budget.

“It is vital that we gather as many views as we can on the new policy proposals before councillors take the final decision.

Our aim is to continue delivering essential services and continue investment in our communities within the limited resources available to us. Some tough decisions will have to be taken so it is essential that we understand the priorities of people living in Carmarthenshire, whilst keeping the council tax increase at an acceptable level.”

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