Like all councils, East Devon District Council faces a difficult financial situation and going forward will need to make ‘careful choices’ as it works towards bridging a £2.7 million funding gap over the next 4 years. Budgets have decreased due to cuts in central government funding and over the last decade, the council has lost 60p in every £1 of government funding.
These reductions coupled with rising demands on our services, continue to impact everything we do.
‘Careful choices’ is about achieving a shared understanding of the services which the council has to provide even though the Government is no longer funding them. It’s also about protecting, as best we can, other services which people care most about. The council wants your help to make these choices, so we asked for your views to help inform decision making by the council. We did this in two ways:
- We sent out questionnaires in the post to 3,000 randomly selected East Devon households.
- We made the same questionnaire available online for any East Devon resident to fill in.
The closing date for completed questionnaires was 9 March 2020. A big thank you to everyone that took the time to fill in a questionnaire. We're now working on the results, which we'll publicise.
We’ve already taken significant steps to deal with the reductions in our finances; compared with 10 years ago, we’ve reduced the cost of running our quality services by a total of £4.4 million. We’re also making progress towards bridging the funding gap by:
- actively assessing commercial investment opportunities and ways we can create income from the assets we own;
- generating more income through services such as green waste collections;
- making organisational changes to ensure we are ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver the Council Plan;
- going digital to deliver services as cost effectively as possible.
We're confident we can work together to make these careful choices.