The council’s much-trailed budget consultation finally got underway on Monday of this week.

While we are still waiting to know our final funding from the Scottish Government —hoping opposition parties will force an improved settlement from the SNP — we could not delay the consultation any longer as we want to give as much time as possible for local residents to express their views.

The main methods of consultation are a series of public consultation drop-in events and an online budget simulator.

The third of the consultation events takes place today in Greenock’s Oak Mall from 11.30am to 3pm with a further event at Inverkip Community Hub from 4 to 7pm. Tomorrow there is a consultation event in Port Glasgow Library from 4 to 8pm. 

Council officers will be on hand at these events to explain why the council is consulting and to assist you complete a budget survey. Remember these are drop-in events. You can pop in at any point during the allotted time.

Further details of how you can respond to the budget consultation are available on the council’s website at and the budget simulator can be found at
You can email any comments you have to

The budget simulator is an online survey tool that allows you to make choices on how you would balance the council’s budget. 

We have set out 40 areas of budget cuts and increases to charges totalling over £8m and are asking people as part of the consultation to identify up to £5m of their preferred options.

There are no easy options on the list. All the savings proposals will adversely impact on the local community, be it through a loss of jobs and a reduction in service or through increased charges.

Colleagues in the council’s trade unions are asking both residents and councillors not to support most of the savings proposals that would lead to a reduction in council staff. It is perfectly reasonable for the trade unions to seek to defend their members’ jobs. 

The consequences of such an approach however would be that the required cuts would largely have to be found from reductions in non-staff costs, cuts in funding to outside bodies and increases in charges for a range of services.

The views of council staff and their trade unions are of course important and I’m sure elected members will be keen to hear them. 

We also want to hear the views of the business community, with a separate consultation event being held in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce.

We will be engaging with community planning partners at a special meeting of the Inverclyde Alliance Board and council services will be making a determined effort to engage with hard to reach groups such as young people and older people through a variety of forums.

The consultation runs until February 11. The views you express will help inform the final shape of the council’s budget, which will be decided at a special meeting of the full council on 15 March.

Please take the opportunity to let us know your views.