Outwell, Marshland St James, Elm, Emneth and Upwell residents - all in Norfolk -get the chance to have a say on Fenland Council's spending plans - and here's the reason
PUBLISHED: 16:50 05 October 2015 | UPDATED: 16:50 05 October 2015
Residents in parts of West Norfolk have been asked for their views on how neighbouring Fenland District Council might cut costs - even though they won't be affected.
People in Outwell, Marshland St James, Elm, Emneth and Upwell – all in Norfolk- have taken to social media to express surprise at being invited to take part in the Fenland Council survey.
A spokesman for Fenland Council said: “We are aware that a small number of households just outside Fenland have received postal copies of the questionnaire, particularly toward the east of Wisbech.
“This is because the postcode catchment area of Royal Mail postal delivery goes slightly beyond the boundaries of Fenland: some postcodes cover places in both Fenland and Norfolk.”
The spokesman said Fenland Council took the decision to send the consultation survey to all 44,000 households in Fenland “because it is very important that everybody in the district has a chance to have their say about our future spending proposals.
“Despite the small number of extra deliveries involved, using Royal Mail to deliver the consultation survey has still been the most cost-effective way of ensuring that we reach all our households.”
Council leader John Clark says in the consultation document that whilst Fenland has made savings of £8million in recent years, a further £1.8million of savings need to be found in the next three years.
“We decided to send this survey to all households because it is important that all residents have the opportunity to have their say.
“We want to hear your views so that we can take them into account when making decisions about the future.”
Independent councillor Virginia Bucknor says she is disappointed that the survey questions do not include more information.
“When a draft was sent to all councillors we detailed our objections and made proposals so that the questions were more relevant and meaningful. All comments were disregarded.”
One woman in Elm said: “I pay Council Tax to Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Council who also collect my bins so I’m a bit confused as to why I’ve received this questionnaire. If there is a reason then fine but if not, what a complete waste of money.”