Future Services – changes to planned decision-making dates

Following the announcement that a General Election will be held on 4 July 2024, decisions on proposals in relation to the findings of the Future Services Consultation held earlier this year, will be postponed until this autumn

May 24 2024

The Consultation held between January and March this year, invited people’s views on 13 proposals to reduce and change some local services to help the County Council deliver savings towards the £132 million recurring budget gap faced from April 2025. Final decisions on the proposals were due to be made by the County Council’s Cabinet this summer. 

However, with a General Election also now due this summer, the County Council has considered the circumstances very carefully. Local authorities must adhere to important restrictions on publicity and decision-making activity, especially for key issues, during a pre-election period (the weeks running up to an election). Any decisions and communications activity in relation to the outcome of the Future Services Consultation should be avoided under pre-election rules. In deciding to postpone the dates for final decision-making, the local authority has also reflected on the need for Councillors to be able to fully participate in the process, and the County Council’s established practice of ensuring that significant decisions are generally rescheduled to after an election. 

From this assessment, it has been concluded that it wouldn’t be possible to run an effective process on the original decision-making schedule and so the Select Committee meetings that were due to take place next month, must be rescheduled to September. Final decisions will then be taken by the County Council’s Cabinet in October this year. 

The County Councillor working groups will finish their scheduled meetings and complete their reports following their review of the consultation documents and process, so that they will be available when the process restarts in September. 

Further detail of the new meetings will be provided as soon as they are available.