POWYS residents are being reminded that they only have 10 days to take part in a budget consultation exercise.

The county council faces continued financial pressures and is looking to reduce spending by up to £13 million next year to set a balanced budget – something that is required by law.

A great deal has been done in recent years, cutting spending by more than £100 million through changes in service delivery, reductions in provision and shedding more than 1,800 jobs. It has also increased charges, including council tax by 9.5% this year to generate more income.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Aled Davies, said:  "We are genuinely being squeezed from all directions and have some difficult decisions to make early next year to set a balanced budget.

“The Budget Challenge, which is an online budget simulator exercised, opened last month and will run until midnight on Sunday November 3 to give residents a chance to express their opinions on service choices.

“Completing the exercise should take around 20 minutes to consider all the options and submit a budget, the choices that you will face are difficult but please do submit your budget even if you do not achieve the £13 million target, as your views are important.

“Drop-in sessions have also been organised at the council’s five main libraries for residents who would like a bit more support to complete and have their say on the council’s Big Squeeze online budget.”

The five session are taking place on the following dates:

Tuesday, October 29 – Ystradgynlais Library, 11am – 12.30pm. Brecon Library 2pm – 3.30pm.

Thursday, October 31 – Llandrindod Wells Library, 11.30am – 1pm.

Friday, November 1 – Welshpool Library, 10.30am – noon. Newtown Library 2pm – 3.30pm.

Anyone with visual impairments or conditions that make it hard for them to use a PC or anyone who can’t make the drop in dates but wish to complete the exercise but need help can either call the council and ask to speak to the engagement officer or email haveyoursay@powys.gov.uk with their details and someone will get back in touch.

The exercise can be found at: https://powyscc.budgetsimulator.com