Somerset County Council’s Listening Learning Changing roadshow will be spending two days at the Yeovil Showground this weekend.
It will be seeking residents’ view as part of the Yeovil Show on Saturday and Sunday, 16 and 17 July, from 9am to 6pm at the Showground.
This is the fourth year the authority has run the events, asking people to try their hand at balancing its budget on a giant set of scales and asking questions about its priorities and other key issues.
It is visiting 11 towns across the county throughout the summer as the council looks to the future while facing the challenges of rising demand and falling funding.
“We’ve met more than 2,500 people so far at our events and I’m delighted so many of them have taken the time to share their views with us,” said Councillor John Osman, Leader of Somerset County Council.
“It’s important that we speak to as many residents as possible to help us get an idea of their priorities. We have big ambitions for future, with initiatives like the Vision for Somerset, but we also have savings to make because of the big reductions in funding from central Government and increasing demand for our services.”
As well as the Balancing Act scales, people can show their priorities by placing coins in ‘Think Tanks’ and complete a short questionnaire. The same questionnaire is also available online at www.somerset.gov.uk/listening
Central Government funding for the County Council fell by £15m last year and is due to fall by a further £40m by 2019/2020. At the same time, demand for the authority’s services, particularly Adult Social Care, is increasing, driven largely by Somerset’s ageing population. In less than 20 years, people aged 65 and over will make up more than a quarter of the population in almost every part of the county.
“We estimate we need to make savings of around £15m next financial year and that means tough decisions,” said Cllr Osman. “I’ve worked to make this a council that listens and does its best to take people’s views into account when we are discussing these tough decisions.”
After Yeovil, the roadshow will be visiting Dunster County Fair, Taunton Flower Show, Bridgwater, Shepton Mallet and Wellington. Representatives from the Council will be on hand to answer questions and fun activities will be available to keep children entertained. The full details of the remaining events are as follows:
|Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 July||Yeovil||Yeovil Show, Yeovil Showground||9am – 6pm
|Wednesday, 27 July||Dunster||Dunster Country Fair||10am – 5pm|
|Friday, 5 August & Sunday 6 August||Taunton||Taunton Flower Show||10am – 6pm|
|Saturday, 20 August||Bridgwater||Stand at Bridgwater Market||9am – 2pm|
|Sunday, 21 August||Shepton Mallet||Mid Somerset Show||8am – 6pm|
|Saturday, 3 September||Wellington||Wellington Food Festival||10am – 4pm|