Reading Services Cuts Discussed

13 February 2012, 05:00 | Updated: 13 February 2012, 09:13

After nearly 800 people told Reading councillors what they should be spending their money on, a big discussion's going to be held about it later.

Reading Borough Council's "We Need To Talk" campaign started in July. They had 780 online responses and 30 community engagement events attended by 1,500 people.

The top priorities that came from the consultation were crime, clean streets, road and pavement repairs and public transport.

The good things about Reading were parks and open spaces, good neighbours and health services.

Young people highlighted youth centres, activities and places to meet, buses and transport, educational and employment as the most important areas for them.

Peoples' views are being used by RBC to help make budget decisions on which services should get funding - with a report being heard by the council's Cabinet on February 13.

Jan Gavin, Reading's Lead Councillor for Service Delivery and Improvement, said they've started a conversation with residents about what is important to them;

"Even though there is less money, we want to work with residents to find new and better ways to deliver improved services. Residents will be able to see in the budget for next year that we have listened and taken action on what they have told us matters to them. This is not a one-off, we will continue to listen and talk to residents."

Bet Tickner, Lead Councillor for Public Engagement and Health, added:

"The Council has now launched 'Let's Talk Health.' We are asking Reading residents to tell us what are their priorities for their own health and for healthcare in Reading, via a survey and public meetings.

It's important to ask residents this now because, under the NHS Bill now going through Parliament, the Council will in future have a role in co-ordinating healthcare in Reading. We are determined that the public must have a voice in setting these priorities for health, after all it's our NHS.."