WYRE Forest District Council say they cannot continue to provide the same number or quality of services it has done in the past and must make tough decisions.

The council are asking Wyre Forest residents, workers and visitors to help with major budget decisions as it looks to close the gap between its expenditure and income by £2 million.

The amount of money the council receives from central Government has almost halved in the last 10 years, falling from £8.4m in 2009 to £4.3m in 2019.

To carry out all current services, the council would need a budget of £12.3m in 2020, but it has only £10.5m.

The council gets some money for services from council tax, but the majority of money paid by residents each year goes to other organisations, such as Worcestershire County Council, police and fire services.

The council say they keep just 12p in every pound collected.

Before detailed budget proposals for next year are drawn up the council is inviting people to complete a short survey that will help influence how it will achieve the savings required.

There are some services the council has to provide by law. These include setting planning policy, deciding planning applications, running elections, clearing away domestic waste, administering benefits, tackling homelessness and collecting business rates and council tax to fund a host of public services.

At the moment the council also provides additional services, such as offering support to businesses, building control and organising leisure events.

Some services, such as garden and trade waste services, create income which helps support frontline services. Others play a major part in delivering the council’s priorities.

Council Leader Councillor Graham Ballinger said: “It’s a really difficult balancing act – do we stop doing some of the things we have in the past or do we reduce the quality of some services? There are some things we have no choice about doing, but do we do them differently or less often?

“We would like the public to help influence these difficult questions and I hope as many people as possible take this opportunity to fill in the survey. Their responses will help guide our decisions over the coming years.”

The budget survey is now available via wyreforestdc.gov.uk/budgetsurvey2020 and will close at 5pm on Monday November 18

Results from the survey will feed into a report on the Medium Term Financial Strategy at the Cabinet’s meeting in December.