Ballot boxes have been rolled out in Dudley borough locations to encourage residents to have their say on the future of council services.
Dudley Council is carrying out its biggest ever consultation where it is asking people whether they would be prepared to pay extra council tax to protect key council services.
And after the initial media and website launch the council has now put ballot boxes and survey forms in libraries, leisure centre and park activity centres across the borough to give more people a chance to have their say.
Dudley’s council tax is £14 per month less than the national average and people are being be asked if they are prepared to have a council tax increase to help protect services and will be given options of a 43p (2% rise), 75p (3.5% rise) and £1 (4.6%) per week rise.
The council has already cut services by £30 million in the last two years and if council tax doesn’t increase from next April, a further £29million of savings will be required in the next three years, which will lead to cuts in key services.
People can also indicate which services they most want to protect, including refuse and recycling collections, child protection, older people’s services, regeneration and job creation and many more.
Councillor Pete Lowe, cabinet member for finance, said:
“This consultation is about listening to local people and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to have their say. The ballot boxes are now out in around 30 sites across the borough and we hope people will take a couple of minutes to take part.
“Dudley Council delivers more than 800 services to local people and the scale of the choice and the tough decisions before us can not be underestimated. We feel it’s vital to embark on a widespread public consultation and listen carefully to our residents’ views.”
The consultation survey features a table which shows the impact various council tax options could have on different services. People can complete the survey in a variety of ways. In addition to the leaflet forms with the ballot boxes the consultation can also be completed online at www.dudley.gov.uk or at the council’s Dudley borough Facebook page or via twitter @dudleymbc.
The consultation will run to the end of February 2013.