The survey elicited a range of views from 100 respondents. The vast majority were concerned about how the need to spend less money on services in Sheffield would affect them. Most frequent responses on handling the financial pressure related to reducing management/admin costs and making further efficiencies, alongside reviewing contracts, more community run services, focussing on core services and the most vulnerable, and getting people into employment. Other suggestions included increasing Council Tax, lobbying government, increasing digital/automation, selling off assets, focussing on upstream prevention, more recycling, and encouraging business/devolution. There were also comments around appreciation of the scale of the challenge, the need for care over choice of cuts, as well as some views that some of the cuts should have been done earlier.
We also asked people about how changes had impacted on them personally, on their neighbourhoods and on the city as a whole. 85% of people who responded to the survey reported that they had seen an impact, although a small but significant proportion of people didn’t feel they had felt any impact as a result of the cuts to the council’s budget.
The most frequently mentioned areas of impact from changes included waste collection, social care, libraries, public transport, and roads. Other frequently mentioned areas included litter and street cleaning, lack of progress on city centre regeneration, youth services, parks, and physical activity/sports activities.
Budget priorities have been influenced by consultation activity undertaken over recent years that has consistently confirmed public support for protecting services for the most vulnerable. This year public feedback on our guiding principles has supported our approach to:
operate efficiently as an organisation
develop solutions for the longer term
take early preventative action
focus on people with the greatest need
work with our communities to deliver services in a different way
Other significant areas that people wanted the Council to concentrate on protecting, now and in the future, included Parks, Housing, Transport & Roads, Education, Employment, and Libraries.
The budget survey, public consultation events and consultation with people about proposals on particular areas elicited an extensive range of comments which helped to inform our overall thinking on the budget.
Further details on the consultation including a short video, details of our Budget Implementation Plans for 2013/14 to 2015/16, presentations from the public events in November 2015 and January 2016, and feedback on other budget related consultations can be found at:
Sheffield City Council budget 2016/17: Have your say
Details of the City Council’s Revenue Budget and Capital Programme 2016/17 passed at the Council Meeting on 4th March 2016 can be found at:
Sheffield City Council – Budget Council, Friday 4 March 2016