Cuts totalling more than £2 million are to be made by Wyre Forest District Council during the next two years, councillors will officially announce tomorrow.
Talks are now set to take place to discover which services people want to see spared from cuts as members of Wyre Forest District Council starts to consider how to trim back their budgets.
The council has already cut spending by around £2.2 million in the past two years following cuts in central government funding to its annual budget of around £13m.
Now a cross-party working group from the council, headed by councillor Liz Davies, has been tasked with finding people’s preferred spending priorities and whether they feel such things such as rubbish collections should remain a top priority. A press conference about the challenges facing the council is expected to be held at the civic offices at 11am tomorrow.
Council leader councillor John Campion said: “We want to discover where people’s priorities lie. We do face ever increasing calls for savings. We have seen 48 per cent cuts on Government grants over a four-year period. There are challenges but nothing has been ruled in and nothing ruled out. People and businesses will be asked for their views on where our priorities should lie and discussions will take place later this year.”
Whatever cuts are made the council is still expected to press ahead with the regeneration planned for the town centre. This is expected to see the creation of more central spaces for pedestrians but some roads reopened to traffic and alterations to bus stops. As part of more recent cutbacks the council trimmed back its own budgets by cutting split site working and moving to a new £10 million headquarters at Fine Point Way, off the Stourport Road to save £500,000 a year.
Councillor Campion added: “We need to make sure that we have a strong and thriving local economy. I believe that we do have a strong beating heart and I will strive to continue to ensure that this continues.”
He said that the consultations, due to start on Monday, were carried out every year to gauge the views of people and businesses.