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#PLAYYOURPART IMPROVING COUNCIL SERVICES

Posted: 6th October 2016

Edinburgh residents are being asked by the City of Edinburgh Council for their views on reshaping council services as part of public engagement for the 2017/18 budget, which will be set early next year.

This year people will get the chance to contribute ideas of their own on how city services are provided, by having meaningful conversations online with other residents in their local area. Residents will also be able to see the suggestions of others in their community and rate those ideas. The Council has agreed draft spending and saving plans for the next three years and is now looking for residents’ views on how best to change the delivery of some services.

A seven-week engagement period, beginning today (Friday, 30 September), will run until Friday, 18 November. It will focus on three key themes, new ways of working, lean and agile services and working with partners. The online survey will ask residents to think about how the changes below could affect them, their community and the city as a whole as well as what challenges and opportunities they present for the Council.

* Supporting individuals and community groups to become more involved in delivering library services.

* Developing the ways customers do business with the Council to include more online tools which are accessible and respond to customer needs so that services are delivered right first time.

* Working with Edinburgh Leisure to maintain access to quality facilities and programmes whilst achieving savings and efficiencies.

The Council will also be working closely with communities, equality groups and partners over the coming months by running workshops around reshaping services, working with communities to agree how local budgets should be spent and creating a city vision for Edinburgh for 2050. A Question Time event will also be webcast from the City Chambers on Thursday, 10 November to give members of the public a more personal opportunity to ask questions about changes to services.

Councillor Alasdair Rankin, Finance and Resources Convener, said: “We have an increasing population, inflationary pressures, decreased budgets and greater demand for our services so it is really important that we get residents’ views on how we can more efficiently deliver services.

“In previous budget engagements residents told us to protect education, care for older people, culture, and services for vulnerable children and adults. These continue to be our priorities. Using our online engagement tools, we’re making it easy for people to contribute their views and ideas, and to understand the different challenges there are reshaping our services. We are improving our engagement tools this year by allowing people to speak to other residents in their local area about issues which specifically affect them. This will give us quality feedback on how people would like their services delivered in the future.”

Councillor Bill Cook, Finance Vice-Convener, added: “Everything you say will be taken into account when we draw up the final budget to be considered by Council in early 2017, so we are extremely interested in hearing your views. Whether it’s via the online survey, dialogue page, phone, letter, email or social media we welcome all feedback.”

At a meeting of the Finance & Resources Committee on Thursday, 29 September, councillors approved a report on the draft budget.

The draft budget, online survey and dialogue page can be accessed at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/playyourpart.

Residents can have their say by:
Completing the online survey
Commenting on the online dialogue page
Phoning on 0131 200 2305 (8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 3.40pm Friday)
Writing to Freepost, RSJC-SLXC-YTJY, Budget, Council Leader, City Chambers, High Street Edinburgh EH1 1YJ

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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