Have your say about Derbyshire and council services

High Peak residents are being urged to have their say on Derbyshire County Council services and finances as part of a newly launched survey.

The county council says the 'Your Council Your Voice' survey gives people the chance to tell them what they think of the services they use, how satisfied they are with them and how they find out about them. 

Participants will also be able to say what they think about Derbyshire as a whole, whether they are proud of the county and if they think it is a safe place to live. 

There are also questions about the authority's budget and how spending is prioritised, as the council combine its annual budget consultation with a more wide-ranging questionnaire for the first time. 

People are asked to list their top and bottom three priorities from a list of services the council provides, from transport planning, highways maintenance and libraries to fostering and adoption, museums and arts and welfare rights. There is also an opportunity for people to give additional information about why they have ranked services as high or low priority.

A new question relating to council finances asks people to look at a range of options the council could consider in order to save money or raise additional revenue and to rank them in order of preference. The options include reducing or stopping less important services and putting more services online to increasing council tax or using council assets to win business from the private sector. People are also able to add their own suggestions.

Last year’s budget consultation saw nearly 7,000 people responding via the survey and the council is expecting this number to increase due to the questionnaire being expanded to include other issues.

Councillor Barry Lewis, DCC Leader, said: "We continue to run an effective, efficient and strong council providing the best value for money, and we are doing this in the face of greater demands on our services and on-going budget pressures. What we need to know is whether Derbyshire residents think we’re getting it right, what changes they’d like to see and whether their priorities have changed from last year.

"We’ve expanded the survey this year so we can take a closer look at what people think about where they live and what they think the council could do to save money or raise additional revenue. It’s really important to us that as many people give their views as possible so we get a very clear picture of what people across the county are thinking and what their priorities are." 

The survey runs until Sunday, December 1, and people who take part have the chance to win £100 of shopping vouchers in a prize draw. 

To take part, visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/yourvoice. Papers copies are available on request by emailing haveyoursay@derbyshire.gov.uk

The council say no decisions about its budget have been made yet and the authority's Cabinet will consider the survey responses relating to the budget, along with budget proposals, at a meeting in January 2020. 

It adds that Derbyshire residents will be given the chance to have their say about individual proposals which may affect them after decisions have been made about the overall budget, and responses relating to non-budget issues in the survey will be used to help shape and improve council services in the year ahead.

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