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Young people set to quiz Dudley councillors on cuts
3:52pm Monday 7th January 2013 in News
YOUNG people will get their say on Dudley Council cuts when they confront councillors who will decide where the axe falls.
Heavy hitters from the authority's ruling Labour group are in for a grilling about public finances at a Question Time style event later this month.
Cabinet members Cllr Pete Lowe (finance) and Cllr Tim Crumpton (children's services) will be at Base Studios in Rufford Road, Stourbridge, for a debate with an audience of young people as part of the authority's big consultation on the future of council services.
Cllr Lowe said: "Dudley Council delivers more than 800 services and the scale of the choice and the tough decisions before us can not be underestimated.
"If we have to make cuts, children's services will be part of that process and it's clear there will be an impact, we will do our utmost to limit that.
"If young people are under 18 they won't be able to vote - but it is still essential we hear their views to help shape the decisions we take."
Councillors are urging all Dudley borough residents to take part in the consultation which runs until the end of February.
Council chiefs want to know if people would be prepared to pay up to an extra £1 per week in council tax to fund services.
The authority can impose up to a two per cent rise (43p per week) but any more would require a yes vote in a local referendum.
A hike of £1 per week is equal to a 4.6 per cent rise, councillors say if council tax does not go up in April they will have to cut £29million over three years.
The consultation also contains options for people to indicate which services they would most like to be protected from the brunt of cuts.
Cllr Lowe added: "This consultation is about listening to local people and we hope thousands of residents will take up the opportunity. This will help us make some big decisions about council services and establish the priorities which are most important to residents."
The consultation document will be published in the media, on leaflets at council buildings and on the authority's website and social media pages.
The Base Studios debate, which will take place on Friday January 25, is being organised in conjunction with the Stourbridge News and is open to anyone aged under 25.
Anyone who wants have their say, or be at the Base for the debate, should email their name, age and questions/comments to email@example.com