There are just four weeks left for people to have their say on Bristol City Council’s ‘Your Neighbourhood’ and ‘Supporting People’ consultations and contribute ideas for the future running of some local services.
A set of six consultations launched in June put forward options is respect of proposals on options services set out below. The closing date for people to complete these surveys is 5 September.
The consultations propose options for services to be delivered in different ways which will be more efficient and to contribute to meeting the huge financial challenge the council faces and to reduce dependency on council-funded services. The consultations include proposals for:
• Bristol Community Links
• Public Toilet provision
• School Crossing Patrols
• Withdrawal of funding for Neighbourhood Partnerships
The Supporting People consultation is a separate set of proposals to rethink the way the council provides services such as:
• supported accommodation for people with mental health issues or a learning difficulty,
• sheltered housing
• advice services and
• ‘floating support’ that supports people in their own homes
Speaking about the Your Neighbourhood consultations, Councillor Craig Cheney, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance and Performance, said: “The financial challenges we face mean we have to make tough choices, but also provide a chance for us to really think hard about the role of a local council and how local services are run. The effects of austerity and continual reductions in our funding from central government have put us in a position where it’s clear that the council can no longer carry on doing everything in the same way.
“We know that the proposals put forward in these consultations could have an impact on our communities. Understanding that impact and being clear on what people feel about the proposals is essential to help us consider what we do next and how we can minimise any potential effect on communities. That means feedback from residents is hugely important and if you haven’t done so already then you only have four weeks left to get involved with the consultations.”
To date around 1,500 people have taken part in the ‘Your Neighbourhood’ (1,239) and ‘Supporting People’ (260) consultations online and on paper. A series of consultation and discussion events across the city, attended by the Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, Cabinet Members and senior council officers, attracted 437 people.
Councillor Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Adults Social Care, said about the Supporting People consultation: “We understand that there are no easy decisions when faced with severe budget reductions like these. Proposals to reshape these services can only be done with the input of service-users and the organisations which support them, as they are the people who know best what works for them. I have really valued the targeted meetings we have held to hear directly from people, and their feedback will help shape final recommendations. It’s important we make those decisions together and ensure that we make the best use of our resources, to have the greatest impact on the lives of those most in need.
“No decisions have been made, so I really urge residents to use these last weeks of the consultation to share their views, and put forward their ideas for the future of these services.”
Online consultation forms are available online at www.bristol.gov.uk/yourneighbourhood and www.bristol.gov.uk/supportingpoeple as well as in other formats including large print, audio, British Sign Language and Braille. To request alternative formats please call the consultation team on 0117 922 2848 or email email@example.com.
Paper copies are available from local libraries and the council’s Citizen Service Point at 100 Temple Street. People who can take part online are encouraged to do so because it is quicker and easier for them and helps save the council money in print and transcription costs