Community in 'face-to-face' survey

THE people of a Suffolk community are to shape the future of their own towns and villages following local authority plans to prioritise and spend in line with resident's wishes.

THE people of a Suffolk community are to shape the future of their own towns and villages following local authority plans to prioritise and spend in line with resident's wishes.

For the first time, those living in the Forest Heath district will tell their councillors which services they view as most important – and those which could be cut to reduce costs.

Issues such as floral displays, town centre improvements and grass cutting will be included within the survey. The questionnaire's results, and their council tax implications, will then be examined by members.

"We are asking residents for their priorities, and the results will be used to set our priorities and budgets for the future," said council leader Geoffrey Jaggard.


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"I would encourage anyone approached to take part and help shape the future of Forest Heath."

In the face-to-face survey, residents will answer 25 questions relating to services and budgets. The results will be collated by outside consultants later in the year.

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Sally Rode, of Forest Heath public affairs, said: "This is the first time this kind of survey has happened.

"It is giving people a real voice, and they should take up the opportunity to make their voice heard.

"The public will be given a range of options, their cost implications and the implications upon council tax.

"It will help members set their priorities to show which services the public want us to concentrate on."

Mildenhall parish councillor John Taylor said he was pleased the people of the town would be able to have their say.

"Anything that involves asking the public their opinion is valuable," he said. "But the council will probably find that it won't be able to please everyone.

"However, at least this survey will raise these issues."

Outside consultants Research for Today are expected to carry out the survey in August.

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