This morning Gateshead Council tweeted me a link to the launch of their Budget Consultation process. Looking around at what councils are doing the headline themes are clearly that big savings are needed and local people should have their say. Cllr Jeff Green, the Leader of Wirral Council, told me about Wirral’s Future, which he says has really got local people involved. Last week I was up in North Yorkshire meeting with the County Council and we shared ideas about effective consultation, including my encouragement to use social media. Here is their “What do you say?” online questionaire. And I particularly like this “You Choose budget calculator” from Southampton City Council, as pictured above, you can see that residents are able to adjust the priorities and see the effect on the council’s finances. We are very interested to hear views on how these consultations are going in communities around the country, and particularly to hear about good practice, which we’ll gladly shout about on twitter and here on the blog.