Help us make 'Choices for Change'

Options to help meet our projected budget shortfall

A consultation paper called ‘Choices for Change’ has been produced, setting out options to help the council meet its projected budget shortfall and giving local people the opportunity to have their say. 

You have until 7 November to give us your views

Part of the wider ‘Shaping our Future’ campaign launched earlier this year, this latest consultation identifies areas for review in each of the council’s main service areas. Between now and Monday 7 November, residents are being asked which of the options they would support.  The consultation findings will then be considered by councillors as they begin to take key decisions ahead of next year’s budget, which  has to be finalised by 11 March next year.

The consultation covers the council's key spending areas

The choices included in the consultation cover all the council’s key spending areas including education, health and social care, children’s services, housing and homelessness, waste collection, roads, communities, economic development, sport and leisure, and parks and open spaces.  It also sets out how the council is continuing to make savings in its office support, staffing and accommodation costs.

It is important you take part

Launching the consultation, Midlothian council leader, Councillor Cath Johnstone stressed how important it is that people take part.

 “Continuing cuts in government funding mean that the Council needs to take further action now to meet a projected budget gap next year of £5.867 million.  By 2020/21, estimates put this at as much as £23.789 million,” said Councillor Johnstone.

You must have your say on vital issues

“We need to plan for the future, which is why we’re seeking the views of our residents and community groups.  We want to hear the views of local people first, rather than presenting them with proposals that have already been agreed.  Although the key decisions on the future shape of council services will be taken by councillors, we’re keen to make sure that our residents have their say on this vital issue.”

A separate set of options aim to transform library and customer services

 A separate set of options aimed at transforming the way the council’s libraries and customer services operates will also go out to public consultation next week.  This includes suggestions for changing library opening hours, making greater use of self service technology in libraries and providing more customer service hubs like the one at Mayfield Library.

Find out more

You can find out more in both consultation papers which are available online at:

  • Paper copies can also be picked up in local libraries and council customer service points from later this week, with questionnaires due to be returned by Monday 7 November.
30 Sep 2016