Online budget simulator to engage public in Bristol budget challenge

A new interactive budget simulator is helping residents get to grips with Bristol City Council’s budget challenge as they share their priorities for future spending and saving by the council.

The digital simulator asks people to balance Bristol’s anticipated budget by closing a projected gap of at least £60m by April 2020.

People’s responses will be taken in to account by council officers, cabinet members and the Mayor as they make plans to meet the challenge. For the first time in Bristol people can see the projected budget and suggest where savings can be made, along with the potential consequences of doing so.

The digital tool, which is compatible with smartphones and tablets, requires users to save £60m across the whole range of daily services provided by the council. All of the council’s net revenue is included, so people can see what is spent where and get to grips with the tough choices faced by the city.

The council will collate responses in early August but the simulator will remain online over the summer and in to the new school term for people to use.

“We want to be transparent and open,” said Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol. “As we look ahead to the next three years it’s important for us to understand people’s priorities and for the public to be given a good idea of the decisions that have to be made, where money’s currently spent and what taking it away can really mean.”

The simulator can be accessed here.

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