Mendip: How would you balance the Council’s budget?

Somerset County Council will be on the road in Mendip this week asking residents to try their hand at balancing its budget while gathering views and priorities to help plan for future challenges.

The ‘Listening, Learning, Changing’ roadshows will be visiting Shepton Mallet, Frome and Wells, asking people to give their views as the Council addresses the difficult reality of increasing demand for its services with significant reductions in funding.

The first roadshow will be at the Mid Somerset Show on Sunday, 17 August from 8am-6pm.

Leader of Somerset County Council, Councillor John Osman, said: “This is a great opportunity for the residents of Mendip to give us their views and priorities as we face up to the challenges of the future.

“We calculate that we will need to make around £30m of savings for the next financial year if we are to balance our budget. It’s difficult for the Council to be everything to everyone in these tough financial times.

“I am committed to making this a Council that seeks people’s views and listens to them when making some of the difficult decisions that we face and wherever possible we want to reflect what our residents want.”

The Council ran the Listening, Learning, Changing roadshows for the first time last year and they attracted more than 5,000 people who came along to share their views.

Visitors can have a go at balancing the Council’s budget on a giant set of scales, with weights representing income on one side and services on the other. There will also be a short questionnaire for people to answer. The same questionnaire will also soon be available online at www.somerset.gov.uk/listening

Representatives from the Council will be on hand to answer questions and fun activities will be available to keep children entertained.

The online version of the questionnaire will be available before the first event on Sunday.

The Listening, Learning, Changing Roadshow will be visiting the following locations in Mendip:

Date Location Event Timings
Sun, 17 Aug Shepton Mallet Mid Somerset Show 8am-6pm
Sat, 13 Sept Frome Frome Cheese Show 8.30am-6pm
Weds, 24 Sept Wells Wells Farmers Market 9am-2.30pm
Fri, 26 Sept Shepton Mallet Town Centre Market 8am-1pm