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Controversial budget proposals to be voted on by councillors

George Roberts

The fate of controversial proposals for next year’s budget will be decided by councillors next week.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday, members will discuss and vote on the budget proposals for the next financial year, which include controversial elements like axing Advantage Card car parking discounts, reducing the number of community wardens and transforming the way child and adult social care is delivered.

Cllr Lynne Jones (OWRA, Old Windsor) encouraged concerned residents to contact their councillors about the budget before they vote on the proposals next week.

She said: “I don’t quite know how the meeting is going to go, there’s not a lot of breathing room in the budget.

“I would absolutely encourage people to get in touch with their councillors and make their feelings known.”

Cllr Jones went on to say that it has been difficult to engage with residents over her concerns with the budget proposal.

She said: “It’s really hard to engage with residents when they are just looking at their own lifestyle, whereas we (councillors) try to look at the borough as a whole and think about the people this might affect.

“For those who don’t drive in Windsor, won’t need a parking permit, aren’t involved in community groups or council tax reduction, they are sitting pretty.”

“But those who are affected should definitely contact their councillors.”

With an overspend of £3.7million projected for this financial year, a draft budget intended to provide nearly £6m in savings has been produced.

The meeting will provide opposition councillors the chance to ask questions about the proposed budget before all the councillors vote on whether to approve it for next year.

Cllr David Hilton (Con, Asoct and Sunninghill), lead member for finance, said: “The council is faced with unprecedented costs for providing care services and increasing costs from growing numbers of adults, vulnerable people and children who require social care.

“I have seen lots of these meetings and there will be an opportunity for opposition councillors to have their say and that’s exactly what will happen on Tuesday.

“Our priority is to support the people who need care and give these people life chances.”

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