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Council offers 'Budget Challenge' to residents

Budget Simulator allows people to build their own budget

Budget Simulator Graphic

Issued on: 15 December 2020

People living in West Berkshire are being given the opportunity to understand the pressure of budget setting by building their own Council budget via an online budget simulator.

By taking the 'Budget Challenge' residents can find out for themselves the difficult financial decisions the Council faces.

For the year ahead (2021/22) West Berkshire has to balance the budget and save a further £7.3 million.

It's harder for the Council to spend less on some services such as Adult and Children's Social Care due to their demand-led nature and the impact it would have on vulnerable people. However, using the budget simulator, residents could, for example, suggest changes to Council Tax and other services the Council might invest in and see the consequences of their choices

Councillor Ross Mackinnon, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Finance said:

"There is no doubt that budget setting will continue to be a fine balancing act for all Councils.

"We're giving our residents the challenge of balancing what we estimate will be the budget for 2021/22 while continuing to focus on delivering the services that they want and value.

"We want them to take up the challenge of balancing the budget, prioritising the services that are most important to them using our budget simulator. Their views will then feed into future budgets."

Once the challenge has closed the Council will look at where residents chose to spend the money, and use this to help inform how it set budgets in the future.

The budget simulator can be found at https://info.westberks.gov.uk/budgetchallenge from Tuesday, 15 December 2020 until midnight on Sunday, 10 January 2021.