People across Buckinghamshire are being asked to help the County Council make important spending decisions about next year’s budget, in a consultation launched today (Wednesday 18 October). The online consultation, which runs until Sunday 19 November, aims to get local people involved in helping to decide on which areas of the Council’s work future spending should be focused. The short survey, which takes only a couple of minutes, can be completed at: https://tinyurl.com/bucksbudget18 Noel Brown, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said the Council’s services touched the lives of everyone in the county. “It’s only right that we should want to ask residents to tell us what’s important to them, to help us decide where to focus our finite funding, and I’d urge people to take part,” said Noel. “Allocating our budget gets more and more difficult each year, with pressure on our vital services to vulnerable older people and children. “Difficult decisions lie ahead. There are things we have to do, which mean there are more limited choices about the things we’d like to do.” The coming year, 2018/19, will be the first in which the Government gives Buckinghamshire nothing in revenue support grant funding, putting further pressure on the budget, said Noel. The amount the Government pays the County Council has fallen rapidly in the past few years, from £60.8m four years ago, to zero next year. Along with Dorset, Buckinghamshire will be the first county to receive no revenue support grant from Whitehall. Noel said the County Council would be submitting a consultation response about next year’s funding settlement and lobbying the Government for more money. People who don’t have access to the internet or a computer can take part in the County Council budget consultation at any library, where staff can help them to complete the survey.