Front-line cuts are coming, warns Sutton Council leader
Cuts to front-line services are coming, the council has warned, but you will be given the chance to shape how the changes are made.
Sutton Council has launched a campaign dubbed Sutton's Future in response to continuing pressures on its budget.
The drive will give people the chance to influence how the council makes cuts in its spending - but Councillor Ruth Dombey, leader of the council, has warned that the cuts will affect people's day-to-day lives.
Cuts in Government grants mean the council was challenged to cut £72m from its budget between 2011 and 2018.
Already it has trimmed its annual budget by £32m to £152m but it still has to find further savings of £40m.
Coun Dombey said: "We knew in 2011 that we had to make savings and we've made some tough choices but, if you talk to people, they haven't really noticed.
"We've made these savings doing things differently.We've cut our workforce by 500, we've used technology more we have a lot more shared services with other boroughs.
"But we've still got to save another £40m having done all this work, so now we have to have a different conversation with people.
"We have statutory services that we have to provide but there are hundreds more that we don't have to provide by law and now we have choices to make."
To help the council make those choices, it has launched Sutton's Future.
The scheme will let people visit a website where they will be able to find out about the council's budgets and influence the decisions that are being made.
There will also be a series of meetings, public displays and people without internet access will be able to take part through newsletters.
Councillor Dombey said no decisions as to what services are at risk and that it will depend on what people say via Sutton's Future.
She added: "We believe that local people know what is best for their local area and we want people to get involved in Sutton's Future to help us find answers."
Coun Dombey explains Sutton's Future
Sutton's Future launches today. To take part, visit www.suttonsfuture.org, contact the council on 0208 770 5000 or visit the Civic Offices in St Nicholas Way.