Stirling Council is bringing its Budget Simulator out to the community as the journey to balance the books for next year continues.
Councillors Brisley and Farmer demo Budget Savings Online consultation

Community Councils as well as a range of local groups and events will be visited by Council staff over the coming weeks as engagement in the budget-setting process ramps up for next year.

Residents without internet access, or those who need help working a computer, can also visit any Stirling Council Library and get support accessing the internet and logging on to the Simulator.

“We’ve been preparing for next year’s budget since June this year, and our communities now have a unique way to play their part,” said Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Scott Farmer.

“Our Budget Simulator is a key part of that, and our staff are now out there engaging with residents, community groups and service users across Stirling.

“We want your views on where savings can be made and suggestions for investment or transformation to help inform the decisions we’ll take next year.”

The Council spends around £350m each year delivering the vital services that are so important to the everyday lives of our citizens and communities. This covers education, providing social care, collecting bins and recycling, fixing roads and many other services valued by the public.

In February this year, the Council approved a financial plan to safeguard vital services and protect the area’s most vulnerable people, which included more than £25million of capital investment.

The Council is facing another tough budget challenge next year, however, and potentially for the years to come, as costs go up and funding reduces.

Give your views on savings

Councillor Margaret Brisley, Finance and Economy Convenor, said: “The Budget Simulator is a great way for residents to give us their views and draft our finances the way they see it.

“We wanted to make sure our engagement with the public was inclusive, easy to get involved with and open to all, so we are out there in the community working with people across Stirling to make sure everyone has their say.”

Cllr Farmer added: “Early indications show that the budget gap has grown since last year amid continued austerity mixed with rising costs.

“We could be faced with a gap of anywhere up to £10million but by getting the public to use the Budget Simulator, we’ll be able to better understand what matters most to our residents. We can then use that information to inform our decisions next year when the financial position will be clearer.”

Stirling Council’s Communities Team will be visiting groups and events across Stirling in the coming weeks to promote the Budget Simulator. Residents will also have the chance to provide fresh ideas and suggestions for investment and transformation through the simulator, which will be taken into account when submissions are made.

Access the simulator online now

The Simulator went live on Monday, 23 September and will run to midnight on Sunday, 20 October 2019.

Information from completed simulators will be collated and passed to Councillors, giving the people of Stirling a unique opportunity to inform the decisions taken by the 23 Elected Members at next year’s Budget Setting meeting in February.

For more information, visit: https://my.stirling.gov.uk/council-democracy/budget/budget-2020-21/