The hour is nigh and Redbridge Council have commenced their second Big Conversation. This time they are faced with making £25million worth of cuts to their budget and they want your help to decide where to apply the scalpel. It’s a bit like asking someone which arm or leg do you want cut off. Or this?
Only on Monday at the Overview Scrutiny committee meeting there was a delegation protesting about the potential closure of the Ley Street day centre. And the Cabinet Member for Highways bemoaning the fact that she doesn’t have any money to repair the roads.
I’ve not actually been through the You Choose Survey yet, so I can’t tell you what to look out for nor how long it takes. However, I can report that the borough wide public forums on the Redbridge-i website have been opened up to post moderated operation and members can once again create new threads, albeit within themes defined by the council moderators. Here you can debate the consequences of the cuts, discuss options and priorities etc. Except that the forum is suffering from Gants Hill syndrome. It has been out of action for so long that the punters have all gone off and found somewhere else to play and hardly anybody passes by now.
UPDATE: I have now completed the You Choose survey. The thing to watch out for is that there are two sections. The first section is about where or where not to spend money. The second section is about where revenues could be increased. So you may wish to look at section 2 before you make any “cuts”. You can of course go back and adjust your “cuts” if you end up with a council tax reduction of 20% like I did.
Another piece of interesting information is that you can look at the statistics. As of now (Thursday 9th at 14:37) there have been 343 submissions with an average council tax reduction of 5%.