Monmouthshire County Council successfully launched its annual budget engagement meetings at Usk’s County Hall on Monday 16th November allowing the community an opportunity to discuss expenditure on next year’s services. Councillors and staff were present to outline the serious funding challenges and shrinking public service budgets facing the council.
A further meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday 17th November at Monmouth’s Shire Hall, which will be preceded by community engagement in the town’s leisure centre. Other public meetings will be held on Thursday, 19th November at Caldicot School (Grey Hill Hall), on Monday, 23rd November at King Henry VIII School and Thursday, 26th November at Chepstow’s community hub off Welsh Street. Each meeting will run from 6.30 to 8pm.
A special Monmouthshire Voices Access for All meeting organised by the South East Wales Regional Equality Council to discuss the budget will take place on Monday, November 23rd at County Hall, Usk from 11am to 1pm. To attend and find more information about the Access for All Forum contact Pennie Walker: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07949 040538.
In addition, live Twitter question and answer sessions for 18th and 24th November from 6 to 7pm will follow an online session held on 11th November. These will allow anyone unable to attend meetings to provide feedback or post a question online.
Earlier this month, the council held town centre-based engagement sessions in Abergavenny, Caldicot, Chepstow and Monmouth so that residents, businesses and organisations could talk informally about the 2016/17 budget. Many people commented and made positive contributions about the forthcoming financial challenges while welcoming the chance to talk to council officers on their doorsteps.
More community engagement sessions have been timetabled for Rogiet Community Café (9.30 am to 12.30pm on Wednesday 18th November), Caldicot Leisure Centre (3 to 5pm on Thursday 19th November), Magor Church coffee morning (9am to 12noon on Wednesday 25th November) and Chepstow Leisure Centre (3 to 5pm on Thursday 26th November).
Councillor Phil Murphy, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for finance said: “Our budget engagement programme has generated many valuable responses to our proposals and we warmly welcome community feedback.
“Our Monmouthshire Engages activity started last week, when we met with over 1,000 people in our towns, encouraging them to get involved in #MonmouthshireEngages. So far 204 people have completed our online survey, we’ve already had 84 YouTube views of last night’s session in Usk (and this is increasing), 15 people attended in person and up to 103 people responded to our Twitter poll. This is a really interesting test of the new Twitter poll functionality which went live last week. We’re looking forward to meeting more members of public over the coming weeks.”
All the ideas formulated following the engagement sessions are available on the council’s website: http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/monmouthshire-engages-budget-201617 and comments are welcomed on the council’s social media channels: Twitter@MonmouthshireCC and the council’s Facebook page
Contact Engagement Officer Rhian Cook on 01633 644364 or 07789 922586 or email email@example.com for more information about the events.