Council keen to hear views on spending priorities

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell.

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell. - Credit: Archant

As we negotiate the difficult path out of lockdown restrictions, yet with Covid cases still rising significantly, we as a council also have to ensure we deliver our ongoing business as usual work.

The council provides a range of important services including social care to protect our most vulnerable.

Our care services cover a huge range of activities – from child protection to end-of-life care. It can involve providing help, care and protection from harm for adults and children with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, or physical and mental illnesses.

As well as these vital care services, the council also supports North Somerset’s more than 210,000 residents with recycling and bins, roads, environmental protection, planning, libraries, housing and children’s centres to name but a few.

Of course, all of this has to be paid for through your council tax, a range of ways the council can generate income and government support.

A key part of our work at the moment is planning for the 2022/23 financial year and we ponder many unknowns, including likely levels of government support, their promise to resolve funding for adult social care, inflationary cost pressures, skills shortages and ability of our residents and businesses to fund services and additional burdens that ever arise for local government.

When we work to craft a balanced budget we shall be asking the residents and businesses of North Somerset to help identify both risks and priorities for spending.

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The great bulk of our spending goes to meet statutory demands, but we do have an ability to help support business and skills, to lead on regeneration of our town centres, influence development locations and to press on with work, such as transport, Bus Back Better, waste and recycling, green infrastructure and through our Local Plan, to achieve our climate emergency plans.

We shall be engaging over the next few months towards the winter through our consultations, our Citizen Panels and through our councillor colleagues to form these plans and to keep you all informed of progress.

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell

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