OVER 2,000 people shared their opinions as part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s budget consultation – the biggest response ever recorded.
The council asked for public opinion on a range of proposals as it works to identify £16.5million of savings over the next three years.
Whilst most of these savings will be made by internally, £2.2million of savings proposals that could potentially impact on service delivery were put to the public.
Results of that survey have now been analysed and Executive Board will meet on February 24 (2020) to decide which of the proposals should go forward to members of the Full Council for a final say.
Whilst there were a range of opinions on the 14 proposals suggested, one of them sparked an overwhelming response.
Almost three quarters of people who responded to a proposal to close Whitland Household Waste Recycling Centre, making a budget saving of £80,000 over three years, said they strongly disagreed, and one in 10 respondents said they disagreed.
Only 14 per cent either agreed or strongly agreed, and three per cent held no opinion.
As a result of this feedback, the Executive Board has confirmed it is likely to withdraw this proposal.
However, suggestions made during the consultation about changing the opening hours and days will be looked in to.
Cllr David Jenkins, Executive Board Member for Resources, said: “We are very grateful to everyone for taking the time to have a say in our budget consultation. Having this feedback is hugely helpful to us as we look at ways of balancing the budget and making the savings we need over the next three years. We can now arrive at an informed decision based on responses we have received.
“We continue to face challenges and pressures on our resources, and it’s only right that we look at every area to see how we can better manage the resources we have available.
“Whilst we are still analysing the feedback, the proposal for Whitland HWRC in particular received a strong response from members of the public and as such we are likely to agree to withdraw it, possibly along with some others.
“We still have a lot of difficult decisions to make over the coming weeks, but I’m sure that those who felt strongly about the Whitland proposal will appreciate knowing how we are inclined to vote at Executive Board.”
Leader of the council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, added: “I’d like to thank all those who took part in the consultation, and for the useful feedback they provided. This provides us with a constructive way forward as we look to protect services for our most vulnerable people, whilst providing and investing in other services that communities want, need and deserve.”