ON THE heels of public consultation that asked whether Devon is a good place to live, Devon County Council is now asking for people’s opinions on how it should spend its budget.

The council has launched a new consultation seeking residents’ views on public services, in order to help influence the council’s budget decision-making next year.

The questionnaire, which is available on the council’s website asks people what their priorities would be for their communities, ranking them from ‘essential’ to ‘not a priority’.

It lists the county council’s public services, asking whether spending on individual services should be protected, or whether people think those budgets could be reduced to a greater or lesser extent.

It also asks people whether they think communities can play a bigger role in running some local services; and whether they personally would be willing to be involved, or are already involved, in any aspect of helping their local community to support itself.

And finally, it asks whether people would be willing to pay more council tax in order to protect public services.

With further reductions in government funding, the council again has to think about what it is able to provide, and better understanding what people’s expectations are of them, helps the council to make informed decisions.

Over the summer, the council asked residents what they thought of Devon as a place to live.

The results to the #WeAreDevon survey are on the council’s website, but respondents told the council that they feel that they have good access to the countryside; that they can lead active lives and that they cared about their environment.

People said that they felt that they can contribute to community life and that they felt safe.

However, transport, infrastructure, affordable homes, and job opportunities were considered poorer.

Most respondents felt that affordable housing was the single most important issue affecting their area, as well as jobs and wages.

Anyone wishing to take part in the budget consultation, and who does not have access to the online form, can request a paper copy from the council’s Customer Service Centre on 0345 155 1015.

The budget consultation is open until January 6, 2017.