Denbighshire councillors are faced with more difficult decisions about the county’s budget, despite having already steered through “choppy waters”.
That’s the message
from council chief executive Mohammed Mehmet writing in the first electronic edition of the
County Voice magazine.
Mr Mehmet (pictured left) says the new `e-communication'
is just one example of the many changes in Denbighshire arising from the budget
For this financial
year, Denbighshire had to meet a savings target of £8.8m in order to set a
version means the council has been able to save up to £20,000 annually in this
one area alone.
The chief executive
says: “As with every single cut we have made, we have had to weigh up the pros
and cons and look for innovative ways to ensure we still have a suitable way
to provide a service, in this case, how we highlight what is happening
within the county council.
“Of course, we
cannot assume everyone has internet access and so to mitigate
this, print-outs will be available to read in our libraries and One
Dealing with budget
cuts, Mr Mehmet says: “Councils across the UK have been absorbing cuts to
budgets for the last five years.
we have now set our budget for 2015/16 but it has certainly not been an easy
process with some really difficult choices to be made by councillors.
included cutting budgets in some important areas and also to popular services
as well as having to introduce charges for others.
“We are at the
stage where we seriously have to consider which non-statutory services we can
continue and at any one time, our officers are working hard to ensure that,
even when a budget is cut the service can continue to be delivered where at all
“This is a very
difficult task which requires expert knowledge in their field and can require
us taking a very different, at times radical approach to the challenges we
The chief executive
says cuts have been made in order to protect more important priorities, such
* Setting the lowest
Council Tax increase in North Wales and the second lowest increase in Wales at
* A £90m investment
programme for building new schools and improving existing ones has also been
* Protecting Social Services.
* All leisure, libraries
and youth facilities remaining open next year.
* Keeping roads
maintenance, public protection, building control and planning, and housing
services at a level that is at least as good as the Welsh average standards.
Mr Mehmet adds: “I'm hopeful that,
subject to no in-year changes from Welsh Government, we will be able to develop
further proposals for minimising the impact of the cuts to our residents but I
say this with the proviso that cuts are predicted to last for several years to
come and, although we have steered our way through choppy waters so far - there
is no doubt that our councillors will be faced with more difficult decisions
ahead and work is already underway to this end.”
* To sign up for the
electronic edition of County Voice, go to www.denbighshire.gov.uk/countyvoice