Parish and Town Councils get involved in the Budget

In a new initiative, Winchester City Council has asked parish and town councils what they want to see as top priorities for the City Council's budget next year.

At a meeting held on Tuesday evening (January 9) parish council representatives were given the chance to ask questions and comment on the current budget options available.

Chair of the District Association of Parish and Town Councils, Ken Yeldham, attended the session, along with representatives from about 25 parish councils in the district.

He said: "It was definitely a worthwhile exercise where people contributed some good ideas and got the chance to ask valuable questions. I think both parties learnt something from it and that the information that came out will be useful."

Mr Yeldham, who is also a member of New Arlesford parish council, added: "Obviously the precept has already been set for this year but it gave people a chance to give their input into next year's plans at an early stage."

Commenting on the initiative, Leader of the Council Cllr George Beckett said: "Parish and Town Councils have views on how the City Council use our resources and we wanted to do something completely new to give them an opportunity to discuss these views as part of our budget process.

"We wanted to know which of the services we provide are of most benefit to them and where they felt savings could reasonably be made."