Oldham Council is appealing to residents after budget cuts mean they must find savings of more than £20m.
Since 2009, the council has been forced to cut more than £192m from its budget, affecting public services such as social care and refuse collections.
The authority has now launched an online consultation service where residents can offer their ideas on the budget after funding was slashed for the eighth year running.
It’s hoped that a large percentage of the savings will come from looking for more economical ways to deliver services and rethinking council processes.
These plans will see the council working more closely with the NHS and Oldham Clinical Commission Group on social care, health and children’s services and with neighbouring authorities.
Whilst much of the money will come from revision of internal procedures, public services are expected to suffer and this will be seen directly within the community.
Cllr Abdul Jabbar, deputy leader of Oldham Council, said: “It is simply impossible to remove such a huge amount of money without negatively impacting on public services.
“For 2017/18 we must save more than £20million which has led to some incredibly difficult decisions being taken as to what we put forward to the public for consultation.
“We would particularly welcome feedback on potential alternative savings or ways in which we could mitigate the impact of proposed measures.”
Amongst the plans to save money, there have been proposals to close the popular LINK centre, which works with disabled and vulnerable people to encourage independent living.
In 2014, two youth clubs closed as a result of spending cuts made by Oldham Council.
There will also be reduction of top-up funding to parish councils, the introduction of a charge for residential parking permits and more driving fines for those who ignore bus lane restrictions.
Regarding healthcare, the council is reviewing the provision of smoking cessation and sexual health services with the view of reducing costs.
Back in March, the Office for National Statistics found that Oldham was the most deprived town in England.
So far, the proposals only partially meet the required savings and further savings must also be found in the months ahead.
The consultation for the public is now open and can be viewed on Oldham Council’s website.
Image courtesy of Mikey at Flickr, with thanks.