Last Thursday saw Driffield Town Council launch their new consultation questionnaire which asks residents for their views on how their money should be spent.
The Town Council have to set their budgets for the new financial year in the next few weeks, and they used their new monthly market stall to assess the opinions of the Driffield public
The Mayor of Driffield, Councillor Matt Rogers believes the views of the people are paramount: “In order that we can set a budget that truly reflects the will of people, it is important that we know what is important to the residents of Driffield.
“This questionnaire is a chance for them to have their say and let us know what their priorities are,” said Mr Rogers.
Claire Binnington, the Town Clerk added: “We embarked on a consultation fairly similar to this in 2011 and it helped the Council enormously when deciding where money should be prioritised.
“We had a 10% response rate to it in 2011, which in real terms was only 600 replies from the 6000 we sent out.
“This time we really hope that more people get their completed questionnaires back to us.”
The questionnaire asks residents to indicate how important the services and facilities provided by the Town Council are to them.
There are also some major questions with regard to possible future plans and requests.
The Town Council want to keep moving forward and strive to make Driffield an even better place to live, work and visit, but this inevitably costs money.
New members of the Town Council were elected in May 2015 and they, along with the existing members, are putting together a strategic plan for the next three to four years.
One idea is to employ an External Funding Manager, whose role will be to apply for grants from the many funding streams available to groups, organisations and town councils.
They will also deliver projects that would enhance and improve Driffield in all aspects.
Councillor Rogers thinks this would be of great benefit to the town, saying: “This would be a brave move by the Town Council, but we feel that if it was agreed, this post would pay for itself over time. The benefits would manifest itself in that we would be able to deliver projects that would make a real difference to the community.”
In addition to this, the Town Council has been approached by the Driffield Skatepark for further funding for a manager. This will keep the facility open to the town’s youngsters. There is also the question about the future of the town’s bus.
“We are under no illusions of how hard balancing the books will be, while still supporting services, facilities and moving the town forward,” said the Town Clerk.
“Added to this is a further cut in the council tax grant from East Riding of Yorkshire Council this year and then its complete withdrawal in 2017/2018. These are difficult and challenging times.
“This questionnaire will be an essential aid to the budget setting this year and we hope that residents will respond and return them to the council office on Market Walk,” she added.
The questionnaires will be available from the Driffield Town Council offices, the Driffield & Wolds Weekly office on Brook Street and will be delivered through every door in the town in the coming weeks.