Demand for council services has been increasing year-on-year but our annual income has not kept pace. We all know what a great place Edinburgh is to live and work in but our population is growing and the cost of providing services to the increasing numbers of young and older people, in particular, is constantly rising. We are also facing inflationary pressures and so with all of this in mind it is vital that we ensure our resources are spent as wisely and fairly as possible.
In previous budget engagements you told us to protect education, care for older people, culture, and services for vulnerable children and adults. These continue to be our priorities.
Last year we agreed draft spending and saving plans for the next three years and last week we launched a seven-week engagement campaign to ask residents through a variety of forums for their views on how best to change the delivery of some services.
We would now like to ask you to contribute ideas on how city services are provided on our dialogue page, by having meaningful conversations online with other residents in your area. You will also be able to see the suggestions of others in their community and rate those ideas.
Our online survey will ask you to think about some services such as how libraries operate to meet your needs in the future.
We will also be asking people for their views and ideas on how our customers do business with us such as using more online tools which are accessible and respond to customer needs so that services are delivered right first time.
Over the coming months we will also be working closely with communities, equality groups and partners by running workshops around reshaping services, working with communities to agree how local budgets should be spent and creating a city vision for Edinburgh for 2050.
In addition, a Question Time event on November 10, which will be webcast live, will offer a more personal opportunity to put your questions to senior councillors.
We want to hear as many views as possible on how we can deliver services more efficiently before the budget is set early next year. They are your services so it’s essential that we involve you at the heart of the process.
You can choose to send in comments by email, Facebook, Twitter or through our survey and dialogue page online. Of course, you can still write to us, telephone, or call into any council office to register your views.
Our plans to deliver council services more efficiently will enable us to give priority to the services that mean the most to people.
Find out more about playing your part by going to the council website at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/playyourpart.
Councillor Alasdair Rankin is convener of the city council’s finance and resources committee