‘Tell us where the axe should fall’

THE PUBLIC can have their say where a possible �25million worth of cuts to the borough’s budget will come from.

Redbridge Conversation 2010 allows residents to decide which council department should be spared and which should face cuts when the government wields its spending axe in October.

It is not known exactly how much money will need to be saved after the National Spending Review, but about 65 per cent of the council’s budget comes from Whitehall. This will be on top of the �5.8million cuts already being considered.

The exercise allows respondents to decide whether to increase or decrease a department’s budget and shows the affect this will have.

It follows on from Redbridge Conversation in 2008, which the council used to help make spending decisions.

The new conversation can only be filled in online but the council said it will have an outreach team to help people who cannot access it.

The consultation closes at the end of October and will be used as a guide by councillors when they make budget decisions in March.

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Conservative Leader of the council Cllr Keith Prince said: “We’re genuinely looking to the people to give us a guide to the areas they see as priorities and those they don’t.

“The borough belongs to the people and we will listen to what they say.”

Lib Dem Deputy leader Cllr Ian Bond added: “We’re hoping as many people will participate as possible. We have some difficult decisions to take and we’re sharing an understanding of that.”

Labour leader Cllr Bob Littlewood said consultation was a good thing but he did not agree with the scale of cuts.

To take part log onto: www.redbridge.gov.uk/conversation