Don’t miss out on your chance to have a say in how your money is spent by Tendring District Council (TDC) next year.

That’s the message from Tom Howard, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Transformation, who is urging residents to get involved in the process.

People are being asked to give their ideas on priorities for where the cash should go – and where they believe savings should come from.

Cllr Howard is warning that more savings are needed with finance remaining a considerable challenge for the Council.

“Initial estimates mean that we are looking at possible further savings of up to £7.8 million in the future,” he said. “This is because we face on-going reductions in Government Funding.”

Cllr Howard added that it is even more important than ever that residents play a part in deciding where money is spent.

“Some difficult decisions will inevitably have to be made – and it is important that we know not only where residents want their money spent and what is most important to them, but also where they are prepared to see reductions in current spending.

“It is a matter of prioritisation, and the harsh reality is that less money has to be spent in some areas and YOUCHOOSE also provides the chance for residents to indicate where they would prefer to see those savings focussed.”

“This really is their chance to take part in the process and I urge them to take it.”

It is the sixth year in succession that Tendring District Council (TDC) has gone out to the public offering the opportunity to influence the budget for the coming financial year.

Responses in the past have helped shape the annual budget with a number of actions taken by the Council directly due to feedback from residents.

It has meant that a balanced budget has continued to be set – and significant savings of £10 million have already been achieved.

The Council has a “YOU CHOOSE” feature on its website which makes it easy for people to get involved.

It allows residents to adjust the Council’s spending – and they can immediately see what impact it would have on the budget before they make their final choice of how cash is allocated.

This year the model starts with a £2.229 million deficit for 2016/17. You will need to reduce this to zero – or have a council tax increase of no more than 2 per cent as you work through the options.

The exercise costs the Council nothing as “YOU CHOOSE” has been made available free of charge by YouGov and the Local Government Association.

A summary of the results will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet as part of their considerations of the budget for next year.

“I can assure the residents of Tendring that it is not easy to balance the books while still providing all the various services we expect and enjoy,” added Cllr Howard.

“However, knowing people’s priorities will help to concentrate our minds.”

All you need to do is to click on the “YOU CHOOSE” logo on the Council’s website, www.tendringdc.gov.uk and follow the instructions.

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