Cheshire East Council has announced its consultation on its coming budgets and Medium Term Financial review and this has highlighted many areas where Cheshire East has identified it might make savings to try and balance its budgets.
Whilst we understand the pressures facing Cheshire East Council, it is with great concern that some of the areas identified for very deep cuts are areas of key interaction and needs of the community.
The strategic Leisure Review listed is directed towards leisure centre and recreation facilities and indicates a saving of £1,290,000 in 2023/24 and an overall saving of £2,600,000 over the 4 years of the plan.
What is also of great concern is the approximate 30% cut in budget for maintenance of green spaces - cut by £900,000 in 2023/24 and then by a further £200,000 in 2024/25. This level of cut will drastically and unsustainably hit our parks, play areas and green spaces without exception.
Also within the proposals in this consultation is a cut of £800,000 to library services in 2023/24 and a further £200,000 cuts to follow. This will lead to libraries having to reduce their opening times, potentially staffing and also the services they offer.
Overall, this approach causes great concern as it shows wholesale cuts to basic municipal services that many of us access on a regular basis and also provide facilities that are often free at the point of use for those who may well be vulnerable or in need of additional support.
We are encouraging Crewe residents to take the time to read Cheshire East Council’s proposals and respond to the consultation, which closes on 30th January 2023:
Consultation Page: https://surveys.cheshireeast.gov.uk/s/GC8LNW/