Community services to be cut: Milton Keynes Council ‘needs to do less’ to save money

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Children and young people are at the centre of a major revamp as Milton Keynes Council has to change how it looks after the community.

Leader Pete Marland says the council will “need to do less” as libraries, and services for young people and children’s centres, face cuts of £2.75million by April 2016.

An imminent review will find out what changes can be made to create more sustainable services - despite the “unprecedented pressures” on the council’s budget.

Although no decisions have yet been made, the council could potentially transfer assets such as buildings to community groups or parishes.

Children’s centre services could be brought together to create a ‘hub’ and information, advice and guidance for young people could be delivered in alternative ways.

Mr Marland said: “As council funding reduces we fundamentally have to rethink how services in the community are being delivered.

“Milton Keynes Council will need to do less, and we need to help communities to do more by working together.

“As a cooperative council we have an opportunity to work with local people to reshape services for the benefit of those who use them. This is not about closing services; we know how important they are.

“However the review may identify areas that are no longer sustainable. In other areas we may need to remodel the way we do things.

“A cooperative council gives the community the power to decide what is most important to them, and we hope that local residents, groups and organisations will join us in thinking differently to achieve this together.”

The extensive review will look at how the public and stakeholders can engage with the council to explore alternative and innovative approaches to service delivery next year and beyond.

Other suggestions include income generation opportunities, and community involvement such as joining with other local groups and partners to pool, co-locate or co-produce resources.

> The budget consultation asks for your views on the council’s budget proposals for 2015/16, which can be found at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/budget from December 9.