As usual here at thebestof Richmond, we have our ears to the ground over local issues, and how local residents in Richmond Upon Thames can make a difference to our borough.
A recent press release from Richmond Borough Council has announced the launch, today, of a new initiative to allow residents to put forward ideas about how the Council can save money.
The new online tool called 'Your Ideas' is there so people can say how they think services they use could be run "better, cheaper or more efficiently".
All suggestions will be reviewed monthly by the Chief Executive, Gillian Norton, and Cllr Tony Arbour, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Performance.
Cllr Arbour said: “Public services are facing the biggest cuts to budgets in living memory. We are asking local people to work with us as we make these changes and giving people a chance to have a say in how the Council improves its working practices and cuts out wasted time and money – this new facility is the way of finding out what everyone thinks.
“Thousands of people use our services every week, and I’m absolutely sure someone must have a bright spark of an idea which could help us save money and cut costs.
“We’re now asking everyone, whether they have recent or direct experience of services or just have a good idea, to tell us if they think there is a better way to do it that will save money. This includes planning, advice services, schools and services for older people. Nothing is off limits.
“All ideas will be scrutinised to see if they are do-able. Once they have been looked at all ideas will be listed on line to say whether they will be taken forward or not.”
The Your Ideas scheme has in fact been running internally within Richmond Council for a year, with staff members able to comment on savings and working practices. Expansion into the public sector is vital I think, to helping to promote the current theme of public involvement with ward decisions and how the Borough performs it's services and facilities.
As well as running the Your Ideas programme on line, paper forms will be available at the Civic Centre in Twickenham and at all libraries where people can write down their ideas. The programme is open to business representatives and residents acting on behalf of an amenity group.
Silas Van Der Bas
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Silas Van Der Bas is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.