North West Wales

Gwynedd residents urged to help £50m council cuts

People living in Gwynedd are being asked to help decide which local services should be prioritised as the council tries to find £50m in savings

Gwynedd council says it is facing an "unprecedented challenge" to save millions of pounds by 2017-18.

It is calling on residents to debate the future of its services.

It will hold public forums during October and November for people to discuss the way forward with senior councillors and council officers.

The Gwynedd Challenge consultation sessions will be held in Bala, Bangor, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Caernarfon, Dolgellau, Porthmadog, Pwllheli and Tywyn.

'Budget shortfall'

Councillor Dyfed Edwards, Gwynedd council leader, said the full impact of the global economic crisis is only now really hitting Welsh councils.

"Here in Gwynedd, the scale of the challenge facing us is unprecedented," he said.

"This year alone, the government funding the council receives to pay for local services has been cut by a huge £8.1m. In total, it is estimated that Gwynedd will face a total budget shortfall of around £50m in the period up to 2017-18.

"The financial and demographic challenges ahead are daunting and can only be met if we all pull together to identify those services that local people want the council to prioritise for the coming years as we simply will not be able to carry on as we are."

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