Council announces £45m budget cuts

Cardiff Council has unveiled proposals detailing how the authority plans to slash £45 million from its budget for next year.

Library user Owen Isaac said too much is spent on council pensions
Library user Owen Isaac said too much is spent on council pensions

The budget proposals for 2014/15 have been published here, and the council is asking for residents’ views on the proposed cuts.
Coun Russell Goodway, cabinet member for finance and economic development, warned no service will be safe.
“No service is going to be untouched by the level of the cuts we are being asked to make,” he said.
“It’s an unprecedented scale of cuts that we have to find, and we are not going to be able to do it without having a direct impact on services and service users.”
Among the proposals in the budget are:

  • The council will try to find another provider for St David’s Hall and the New Theatre.
  • Cardiff Central Library will shut for one day a week, its local history department moved to the Glamorgan Archives and two floors leased out.
  • An increase in parking charges.
  • Youth clubs will no longer be funded at Radyr Youth Centre, Creigiau and Gwaelod-y-Garth, Whitchurch Youth Centre, Pentwyn Dome, Tongwynlais, Llanishen Youth Centre, Ty Celyn Youth Centre, Howardian Youth Centre, Pentwyn Dome, Trowbridge and the service at Dusty Forge in Ely will be reviewed.
  • Street cleaning operations will be cut back.
  • Play centres at Ely, Grangetown, Splott, Llanrumney, Llanedeyrn and St Mellons will be closed.

Of the proposed £45m savings, £42m will be through cuts to existing services while the council plans to bring in an extra £3m  by increasing revenues.
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When introducing his proposed budget to the council meeting at City Hall on Thursday, January 30, Coun Goodway  said the cuts were forced on the council by the Westminster coalition and called for the third sector, private companies and the public to fill the gap left by retreating local government.
“It is clear to us that at the end of this current administration the council will look very different to the one we see today,” he told councillors.

Cardiff library will close one day a week under plans announced yesterday
Cardiff library will close one day a week under proposed plans announced yesterday

In response, Plaid Cymru leader Neil McEvoy accused Coun Goodway of “Thatcherite rhetoric” about the need for cuts.
Elizabeth Clark, Liberal Democrat councillor for Cathays said: “I’m surprised that a Labour cabinet member is not more committed to service delivery by the public sector.”
Before the council meeting, protestors from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition as well as Cardiff Against the Bedroom Tax held an anti-cuts protest outside City Hall.
Ramon Corria, secretary of Cardiff County Trades Union Council said of the planned cuts to services: “They’re our public services and we will fight to maintain them. We fully understand that the UK Government is putting pressure on councils to make the cuts but the people of Cardiff can’t afford to be losing any more services.”
The council says consultation responses will be taken into account in the budget proposals to the cabinet on February 20, which will then be debated by the council on February 27.
You can respond to the council’s proposals via this link.