On Thursday 26 February, Cardiff City Council will vote on the budget for the financial year 2015-16. The Cardiffian puts into light the major decisions the council is about to make.
Cardiff City Council is facing a shortfall of £48,3m for the new financial year in the wake of severe cuts from the Welsh Government to local councils.
The budget councillors will be asked to vote on this Thursday includes major cuts to non-statutory services such as libraries, communities centres and social services.
One proposition made by the council is to increase the council tax by 5 per cent bringing up the band D charge to £1022,46 per year. But even with the income generated by the rise of the council tax, Cardiff Council would still face a shortfall of £41,150m.
Each department is therefore facing significant cuts to its budget, represented in the charts.
The environment department cuts would be the most important proportionally to its initial budget, a fall of 43,44 per cent. But, £3,572m alone would come from the non-renewal of the interim waste disposal contract at the Prosiect Gwyrdd incinerator. Among the remaining cuts, £557,000 are anticipated to be saved from the enforcement of waste collection and disposal.
The health and social care, children’s services and community housing and customer services departments are also heavily cut, respectively £6,215m, £2,695m and £2,031m, which will have a direct impact in the ways these services will be run.
Cardiff City Council intends to make savings by freezing employment recruitment, reducing the number of management posts and the amount of discretionary overtime hours, and restructuring these services, relying more on voluntary schemes and commissioning external services. Across the three services, £1.038m would be saved from employee costs alone.
Among the proposed cuts, £674,000 would be retrieved from transferring children from residential care to foster families, £65,000 would be spared from buying new residential beds, £83,000 would be cut from the homeless provision, and £379,000 would be saved by developing a city centre superhub in the central library.
The saving of £283,000 from library services across the city has been withdrawn by the council after a public consultation on the budget.
The sport, leisure and culture department would also see its funding axed by £3,302m including £519,000 from children’s play provision, £329,000 from employee costs across parks and leisure centres and £220,000 from the re-management of staff in the park range service.
The vote will take place at Cardiff City Council at 4:30pm on 26 February in a divided council.
In an email sent to Cabinet member Sue Lent, Stephen Doughty, Cardiff South and Penarth MP, criticised the running of Cardiff Council and the passing of the budget as “appalling”.
This comes just days after Garry Hunt, the Cardiff Labour party’s whip, warned fellow councillors sanctions would apply if they voted against the proposed budget. Opposition councillors and some rebel Labour councillors have said they will vote against the current Labour Cabinet’s budget proposal.