Council asks ‘where should the axe fall?’

ALL 250,000 households in Sheffield are to receive a letter from council leader Julie Dore asking for residents’ views on which services should be protected – and which should be cut.

It will spell out the authority’s financial plight – having to save £84m this financial year and at least £50m in the 12 months from April.

Coun Dore said: “We want people to be able to understand the position we are in and ask for feedback. We are sending the letter out in December to give people as much time as possible to send in their comments, before we have to come up with final proposals for next year.

“Last year, there was consultation by the Lib Dems when they were in control but it was asking for people’s views for two weeks after the budget had actually been put together, which really was too late. We want our exercise to be a genuine consultation.”

The final content of the letter has not yet been decided but it will give options to reply by phone, email or in writing.

Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed said: “Even by December, Labour will already be close to finalising their budget for next year. If they were real about consultation, the process would have happened in the summer. I also have concerns about the cost of this letter, which will incur a bill in excess of £100,000 to deliver by Royal Mail because second-class stamps are now 46p.”