Follow the leader - Wakefield Council’s Peter Box has his say
What do you want from Wakefield Council?
Speaking as a resident with no children at school, no parents requiring social care, no housing support needs - and whose entire book and music collection is stored on my ipad, my requests of the council are simple - I want my bin collected and I don’t want to see any potholes (if only!).
Whilst my requests of the council are quite limited, every resident has a different life story – and every resident has a different set of asks of the council – and in some cases complex needs.
A young family for example may use our parks, children’s play areas, leisure centres, libraries and schools.
An older person may need care, dementia support or transport service. Those on lower incomes may need help with housing or council tax, whilst those with health problems may need to access services for mental or physical health, weight loss, or support to stop smoking.
What is clear is that the priorities of one household may be way down on the list of their neighbours and vice versa.
Since 2011, we’ve managed severe cuts in our core funding from government with reductions of around 42%.
All of us are seeing and feeling the effects of this from our different perspectives. Next year, we have to save in the region of £30m.
Some services will probably be reduced or will stop altogether.
So how do we decide where to invest the council’s budget when our 331,379 residents have such wide ranging needs. When what’s important to me isn’t an issue for you.
At the next meeting of full council in November I will be asking all councillors to find out from their residents what matters most to you and your family.
So it’s over to you. I want to know what you think.
Please in touch by emailing your suggestions to [email protected] I look forward to hearing from you.