Have your say on Cardiff Council's £22m budget cuts
Cardiff Council is conducting a consultation into its planned budget cuts of £22 million. You can make your comments on the draft budget proposals and suggest alternative ways of saving money to the Council.
What is being cut?
The Budget Proposal for 2013/14 was proposed at Full Council on Thursday 31st January 2012. Proposals to save money include:
- stopping the subsidy to Cardiff Riding School
- scrapping Cardiff Big Weekend music festival
- selling Flat Holm Island (pictured right)
- closing Splott swimming pool
- closing the Victorian public toilets in The Hayes
- reducing Welsh language grants
- ending subsided music lessons in schools
- 350 council jobs are set to go, and grants reduced to charities and organisations supported by the council, including Chapter Arts Centre and Menter Caerdydd.
What is being protected?
The budget includes an increase in spending for schools – though they will have to buy some of the services currently provided for them by the council.
Social services spending will also be increased.
How have people reacted?
The proposed cuts have unsurprisingly not gone down well:
- Protestors demonstrated outside Splott swimming pool against the closure, and organised a petition.
- Union leaders threatened industrial action , warning that compulsory job losses could lead to staff walk-outs.
- Plaid Cymru group leader Neil McEvoy attacked the proposals as being delivered by a “right-wing Labour council”
- Steve Belcher, regional officer for Unsion, described the budget as “brutal” and said it will hit “the most vulnerable people in the city”
Why are the cuts happening?
The cuts are due to the continued difficulties in the economic climate, which may be heading for a triple-dip recession, and to the Government’s austerity measures.
But it’s also due to election promises: Cardiff Council is led by Labour, who took control from the Liberal Democrats in the 2012 elections last May. Labour made an election pledge to keep taxes at their existing levels.
Is there an alternative?
The Council says no: Councillor Russell Goodway told colleagues “The picture is far from rosy. I am not looking to put a gloss on it or spin. There is no escaping the pain.”
Trade unions have urged the council to make a slight increase to council tax to help protect jobs and services. The decision to spend £1.6 million on a new tier of management has also been criticised.
What can you do?
You can complete the Council’s survey on the budget cuts – speak up for anything you consider particularly important to keep, make suggestions for further savings elsewhere.
You can write to your local councillor, to make your views known.
Poll – would you rather:
- Cardiff Council kept council tax frozen and made big cuts?
- Cardiff Council breaks its pledge and raises tax to reduce cuts?
- Find a third way (suggest in comments)?