How would you spend £547 million pounds? No you haven’t won the Lottery, Leeds City Council are asking residents to get involved in their budget decisions for next year. £547 million sounds a lot, but it is £40 million less than they are spending this year.
The government is reducing the amount of money it gives to councils to run services. This year we are on track to save £55 million, but from April 2013 we will have another £40m less to spend on local services.
To help us set the council’s budget for 2013/14, we need to know what your priorities are, through the YouChoose budget simulator at www.leeds.gov.uk/youchoose. YouChoose is a free tool available nationally for local authorities.
YouChoose gives you a feeling for the challenges we face in balancing the budget. It starts with the budget over-spent by £40 million; your task is to bring that down to zero, and keep Council Tax rises to 3% or less.
There are helpful instructions on the first pages of YouChoose and we’ve provided lots of information about the services the council provides and their costs to help you make choices about your priorities..
We do ask for some information about yourself, so we can tell if people from different backgrounds or places in Leeds have taken part. As always, we will keep your information safe in line with the Data Protection Act 1998.
YouChoose will be open until 24th January 2013. We want as many residents as possible to have a go at YouChoose. Please pass the YouChoose link on to anyone you feel may be interested.
More budget information can be found by visiting http://www.leeds.gov.uk/council/Pages/our-financial-plans.aspx and clicking on the ‘download ‘ tab.