Plymouth residents are being invited to give their views on how the City Council should prioritise its finances over the next year.
The Council is working on its draft 2024/25 budget and a report considered by Cabinet on Monday (13 November) outlined how a projected £11.2 million budget gap caused by increasing demand for services and rising costs has now been reduced to £2.3 million.
While work continues to close the gap before a balanced budget can be set in February, the Council is now seeking the views of residents before it makes any final decisions.
Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “I have said before that our situation is serious – but it is not all doom and gloom. We can still be ambitious for Plymouth by prioritising those things that are important, finding efficiencies and improving our processes.
“We are not alone in this. Nearly every local authority across the country is having to deal with the economic crash, high inflation and the impact that the cost-of-living crisis is having on our services. We are seeing demand like never before.
“All the while the Government continues to steadily reduce our funding. In 2010 we received £123.8 million funding from Government. Last year we received £11.6 million.
“We want a stable council, one that is focused and manages our finances responsibly. Help us by having your say on what is important to you, so we can take your views on board before making our final decision in February.”
Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, added: “Over the past 10 years, with the staggering drop in Government funding, we simply do not have enough money to continue doing everything. Quite simply, demand and costs are outweighing the money available.
“We have to prioritise and make smart decisions that will help build a better Plymouth.
“We can learn a lot from local people, particularly about what priorities we should be focusing on for the coming year. I encourage everyone to go online and have their say.”
Residents have until 11 December to give their views.