Do you think Basildon Council should spend more, less or the same on maintaining parks and open spaces? Does strengthening the local economy matter more or less to you than making people happier, healthier, independent and active? These are some of the questions that Basildon Council is asking residents and businesses before it sets its budget for 2021/22.

Basildon Council gets no general government grant funding at all. This means the council must get all of its income from council tax, business rates, money it can raise itself and specific grants it can bid for.

In setting its budget it must balance its income with its spending by increasing income or reducing spending. And this is what it wants your views on.

Cllr Gavin Callaghan, Leader of Basildon Council, said: "Demand for council services continues to increase and so does the cost of providing them. We are also in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and we don't know the full financial impact of that yet.

"To make sure we get maximum value in everything we do, we have to find ways to increase our income or reduce spending if we are to balance our budget and deliver what is needed for our residents.

"This budget survey isn't a tick box exercise. Last year you told me you wanted more things for young people to do and we have started the work to bring the Youth Zone to Basildon. You also said you wanted more green spaces engaged and protected and so we planted 10,000sqm of wildflowers across the borough. And of course the street lights are now on all night.

"I hope as many residents as possible will use this survey to have their say on the important task of setting a balanced budget."

Feedback from the consultation, which was launched last week, will be used by councillors as they set the budget and council tax for 2021/22.

To take part in the survey visit www.basildon.gov.uk/budgetsurvey

If you haven't got internet access and need help to complete the survey, we can make special arrangements. Please contact customer services on 01268 533333 for help

ENDS

Published on Tuesday 11 August 2020