Wiltshire folk can have a go at setting the county's budget for the next year using a new online interactive tool.

The council has launched a budget simulator so council tax payers can say where they think their money should be spent, how savings can be made and suggest ways of bringing in more income.

The simulator does not give a full representation of local government finance, but it will provide them with an insight into the difficult decisions councillors make when setting a legal budget.

The budgets and feedback received from the simulator will be used to form the council’s next budget.

Council leader Philip Whitehead said: “Since becoming a unitary council in 2009 we have made efficiencies from every single corner of the organisation.

“Due to increasing demand, we are spending more on some services year on year and setting the budget is always challenging. Our task is to try and balance the priorities that affect everyone, along with the issues that only impact some people.

“Care for older people, keeping vulnerable adults and children safe are council priorities. But they may not directly affect everyone. Other important issues such as roads, waste and recycling collections, and keeping the streets clean and tidy affect more people all the time.

“The budget simulator is a new interactive tool to engage council tax payers in not only understanding the financial challenges we are facing but having a say in what we can do or should do.

“I would urge people to go online, take the time to have a go at balancing the budget using the simulator and tell us their priorities.”

Since 2017/18, the council has cut around £67 million but it estimates a further £15 million must be saved next year.

The simulator can be reached at budgetwilts.co.uk

Demand for services continues to grow, especially in social care, at a higher rate than the current budget. Wiltshire Council has also pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030 and its councillors have agreed to seek to make the county of Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030.