County council says it will shape Cambridgeshire's future but without Shape Your Place website which is too costly to retain

PUBLISHED: 18:24 22 February 2015 | UPDATED: 18:24 22 February 2015

Shape Your Place, Fenland's online voice

Shape Your Place, Fenland's online voice

Archant

It began in Fenland, expanded to the rest of the county, but on March 25 the county council run Shape Your Place community website will close.

Shape Your Place, Fenland's online voiceShape Your Place, Fenland's online voice

Months of trying to persuade district councils to take over running of the website have failed and the county council has decided it can no longer afford to run it.

“It is with regret that, due to the budget cuts, Cambridgeshire County Council has to make, the decision has been made to close the Shape Your Place websites,” says a statement issued by the council.

“The council has to find £30 million in savings this coming year after having already cut £100 million over the last three years,” said the statement. “Government has also reduced the funding the council gets while there is more pressure on services, and therefore the budget, from an ever growing population.

“ This means the authority is making very hard and challenging decisions about spending on frontline services, such as protecting the most vulnerable and maintaining roads.

Shape Your Place, Fenland's online voiceShape Your Place, Fenland's online voice

“In light of this decision we are preparing to close the sites on Wednesday March 25 so we will be unable to accept any new issues from 12noon on Monday March 2.”

The council says Shape Your Place was designed to help Cambridgeshire public services engage with our communities, provide a one stop shop for people to talk to us and a platform for groups and places to promote themselves.

The council statement added: “It has been highly successful with in excess of 246,000 visitors who have made well over half a million visits. However in these austere times we have to focus on what we can and what we cannot continue to deliver.”

We would like to thank all our partners, bloggers and those who’ve used the sites over the last 4 years.

From the end of March residents can raise issues with Cambridgeshire’s public services through these links:

One councillor told the general purposes committee that “unlike the council’s feedback system, Shape Your Place was very user friendly.”

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