Council pilots 160 million budget exhibition

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Council pilots 160 million budget exhibition

Posted: 17/01/2007 10:29:57

Devon County Council, which spends 160 million in Exeter, is piloting a new exhibition in the heart of the city to help citizens of the county's capital have their say in the big build-up to setting the county's new budget.

The County Council provides major local government services in the city including schools, social care, roads, street lighting, libraries, public transport, trading standards and recycling facilities.

The exhibition at Exeter Central Library runs through to Saturday. It includes examples of new and improved services in Exeter that the County Council is supporting as well as exciting plans for the future. It also highlights the different ways people can give their views such as taking part in the Council's big budget online "think-tank" at , emailing the Leader of the Council, Brian Greenslade direct or using the Freepost service.

Brian Greenslade, says the exhibition is based on lessons learned from the successful "Our Town" public consultation campaign in Barnstaple and is just one of the ways the Council is constantly looking to improve public consultation.

He said: "The independent watchdog, the Audit Commission, has praised the way Devon County Council consults local people and communities, but we're not resting on our laurels.

"Over the next few weeks the County Council will be putting together its 1 billion budget for 2007/8 and I would like to hear from Exeter citizens how they think we should be investing in the county's capital.

"That's why we're piloting this new exhibition at Exeter Central Library to publicise the budget consultation and give Exeter citizens another opportunity to have their say. Exeter is a vibrant, successful city at the heart of Devon and we want that to continue with the full support of Devon County Council behind it."

Sheila Hobden, the County Council's Executive Member for Culture and an Exeter County Councillor, said Exeter Central Library was an ideal venue for a budget exhibition.

She commented: "It's appropriate that the exhibition is being held at Exeter Central Library because it is the focus of Devon County Council's ambitious plans to create a major cultural centre for Devon including a new landmark building, an extended library service, gallery, cafe and performance spaces.

"I hope that many people will call in to look around the exhibition and take the opportunity to contribute their views. Exeter Central Library is open every day and with its weekend and early evening opening hours is perfectly positioned for anyone who wants to drop in after work, during a shopping trip or on a lunch-break.

"Like all Devon's libraries, Exeter Central provides access to the Internet and is well provisioned with computers for public use. Our friendly staff will be happy to show people what facilities are available and how to use them."

The Exeter exhibition will be open through to and including Saturday. The library opening hours for those days are:

Monday 9:30 - 7:00.Tuesday 9:30 - 7:00. Wednesday 10:00 - 5:00. Thursday 9:30 - 7:00. Friday 9:30 - 7:00. Saturday 9:30 - 4:00.

The exhibition is all part of a year-round process of public consultation the County Council carries out to involve Devon people in setting priorities for policy-making and spending. During 2006 the Council carried out two major household surveys and these followed up the big "Our Devon" survey in the autumn of 2005 which helped set priorities for the Council's five-year Strategic Plan.

The Council is also carrying out face-to-face budget consultation meetings this month with residents from across Devon, including Exeter, as well as with representatives of the business community, young people, older citizens and trades unions.


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