The Waiting Game
- I’m planning to write this blog until the end of this financial year. By then I should know which councils are keeping Recycling and Reuse Credits and which ones are cutting them.
- I am very aware of how difficult it is for local authorities to decide which of so many important activities will have to be cut. This is why I have been so impressed with Cumbria’s wide ranging public consultation. It included an online web chat and public meetings, in addition to the main consultation. Council members answered all points made promptly and sought out facts when they were asked for. Anyone, including me, who was slightly cynical about the point of the consultation and felt decisions had been made in advance, were delighted to be proved wrong. The consultation ended with many changes being made to the original proposals. I am very pleased to be able to quote from the council:
‘The opinions and reasoned arguments of the Cumbrian public, partner organisations and other stakeholders have been crucial in shaping the new budget and resulted in the removal of proposals including introducing charges for on-street parking, reviewing funding for community swimming, stopping the payment of recycling credits to the third sector and also saw far less severe reductions in the budget for maintaining footpaths and public rights of way.’
- I know that people who took part in the exercise welcomed the chance to have their views listened to.
- I’m just waiting now to hear what will happen with the majority of councils, from whom I have not yet heard. Let’s just hope no news is good news.