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Great Yarmouth Borough Council starts cash-saving consultation today - urging residents to have their say too

PUBLISHED: 08:51 28 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:53 29 July 2014

The view across the River Yare towards South Quay in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

The view across the River Yare towards South Quay in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2014

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is to start a 12-week public consultation today to guide how the authority spends within its means in the face of a £4.7m funding gap.

Over the next four financial years, Yarmouth’s income from Government is expected to continue to fall, resulting in an estimated total budget gap of £4.7m which represents 35pc of the council’s current annual budget of about £13.3m.

Just under £1.5m must be saved for 2015/16.

The council has said it will “do all it can to maximise opportunities to increase income, create savings and improve efficiency through ways that will not impact on services”. However, due to the financial pressures, there will “inevitably be increasingly difficult choices ahead” - suggesting cuts lie just around the corner.

The consultation on how to save money will start today and run until October 20.

You can take part in the consultation online here.

All residents are encouraged to take part. The consultation can be completed online at www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/have-your-say, or by filling out a hard copy available at the Town Hall with a pre-paid envelope.

Council leader Trevor Wainwright (pictured) said: “This is a genuine consultation. The survey outlines ways the borough council could increase income, create savings and improve efficiency.”

BMG Research, an independent market research agency, will be analysing the survey on behalf of the borough council.

At a full council meeting last week, there was debate over the decision to pay the new interim chief executive a £995 plus VAT wage, an estimated £200,000 a year.

While one councillor branded the move “obscene”, senior councillors said it was ‘vital’ to employ the experienced Gordon Mitchell who had the skills to see the authority through this period of transformation.

Earlier this year, Brian Walker, cabinet member for resources, said the council’s financial situation was “dire”.

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