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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 four 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 on 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 is 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’re asking for your views to help inform decision making by the council.

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 that together we can make these ‘careful choices’. We’d like you to take part by completing a questionnaire about our services and from next week (Monday January 13) the consultation will be available to complete on our website at www.eastdevon.gov.uk/community-engagement/careful-choices . If you’d prefer a printed version of the questionnaire or need a copy in any other format, please contact Jamie Buckley on 01395 517569 or e-mail jbuckley@eastdevon.gov.uk

The questionnaire is also being sent, by post, to 3,000 randomly selected East Devon households.

The consultation will close at 5pm on Monday 9 March 2020. The results will be used to help inform decision making about the services and how they are run.