Take the Budget Challenge using our Budget Simulator
Take part in our budget simulator, and tell us how you would allocate our annual funding.
Last year, West Berkshire Council gave residents the opportunity to understand the pressures we face when setting our budget by asking them to create their own budget, using our online simulator.
We had a great response and lots of good ideas on how to balance the budget, so we're running the 'Budget Challenge' this year too.
For 2021/22, we remain focussed on frontline services, those which are most important to our residents.
For the year ahead (2022/23), West Berkshire Council has to balance the £147 million budget.
We're now asking local people to work out how to divide the budget between core services, such as Learning and Libraries, Rubbish and Recycling, and Social Care, while closing a gap of £9 million between the income we receive and the money we need to spend.
It's harder for the Council to spend less on some services, such as Adult and Children's Social Care, due to their demand-led nature and the impact it would have on vulnerable people.
However, using the budget simulator residents could, for example, suggest changes to Council tax and increase or decrease spending across Council Services and see the consequences of their choices.
Ross Mackinnon, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Finance said,
"We're excited about getting our residents involved in the budget setting process again this year.
"We had great responses and good ideas from the last Budget Challenge and we're looking forward to seeing how residents choose to find the balance for 2022/23.
"Budget setting is a fine balancing act for all Councils, and we feel it's important that we're able to take on board the prioritisation of services that are most important to local people. The Challenge is a great way to engage directly and find out what really matters.
"Once the Challenge has closed, the Council will look at where residents choose to spend the money, and use this to help inform how it sets budgets in the future."
The Budget Simulator can be found here and is open from 18 October until 28 November 2021.