Blackburn with Darwen residents asked for views on Council spend

Published Friday 20 October 2023 at 11:11

A survey has been launched by Blackburn with Darwen Council to ask residents, businesses and partners their views on what they feel spending priorities should be in the next financial year.

The web-based survey – live from today (Friday 20 October) asks for residents’ feedback on what the Council’s spending priorities should be as it makes progress on delivering the four core missions in its corporate plan.

The missions were developed following a programme of engagement in 2022 with residents, businesses and partners who were asked to have their say to shape the future of Blackburn with Darwen.

In preparing its budget for the financial year from April 2024 to March 2025, the Council is also asking for feedback via the survey on some specific spending areas and how rising living costs might still be affecting people locally.

The short survey takes around five minutes to complete and can be found here.

Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, Councillor Phil Riley said:

We are making good progress against the targets we have set ourselves. However, we cannot stand still and the ongoing development of our key plans and spending priorities is vital in making sure we provide the best services our residents want and need.

The feedback we get can directly feed into the decision making process.

Councillor Vicky McGurk, Executive Member for Finance and Governance added:

Over the last 15 years, central government grants have decreased in line with austerity measures and there have been a number of councils over the last couple of years who have effectively declared themselves bankrupt.

Thankfully, we are not in that position because we have taken difficult decisions in the past and, as confirmed in our recent Corporate Peer Challenge, we have a robust financial and forward planning systems in place.

However, there should be no mistake – increased costs and cuts to funding has hit every council hard and Blackburn with Darwen is no exception. Added to this, the Council is affected by the cost of living crisis like everyone else and this creates challenges in deciding where best we use our limited resources.

This survey is a key tool to allow any resident of the borough, aged 16 years or older, to have their say on how and where we spend next year’s budget to deliver the best services we can. I urge people to get involved.”

Every resident of the borough age 16 or over has the opportunity to complete the survey which runs until 23:45hrs 1 December 2023. The findings will be used to inform the budget planning process for the 2024-25 financial year.

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