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Cardiff Council’s plans to close £30m budget gap revealed

Cardiff Council

PROPOSALS to reduce black bin bag collections in Cardiff to once every three weeks and increase council tax took another step forward today.

Cardiff Council’s cabinet members agreed to the budget proposals for the 2024/25 financial year at a meeting on Thursday, February 29 which means they will now go to a vote at full council on March 7.

A range of proposals, including increasing council tax by 6% and increasing the cost of school meals and burials are part of the council’s plan to close a budget gap of £30m.

Initial proposals included getting rid of public bins on residential streets and cutting down on street cleansing, but these were removed after a public consultation which took place between January 8 and February 4.

According to the council’s cabinet member for finance, these proposals proved to be “very unpopular”.

However, other proposals which also proved to be unpopular have remained in place.

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The council’s consultation figures state that only 38.2% of residents agreed or strongly agreed that recycling should be removed from residual waste collections.

More than 9,000 residents took part in this year’s consultation on the budget.

Originally, there was also a proposal to reduce the number of park rangers by four full time employees.

This has changed to two.

The cost of school meals will go up by 10p rather than the originally proposed 30p; sports pitch costs are now proposed to go up by 10%; out of hours burial fees are expected to be set at 10%; and the hours at hubs and libraries will be reduced rather than close for a day a week.

It is proposed that hubs and libraries will stay open for one hour less, from 9am-6pm to 9am-5pm.

These libraries and hubs include Central Library Hub, Canton Library, Cathays Heritage and Branch Library, Radyr, Penylan Library, Rhiwbina, Rhydypennau and Whitchurch Hubs.

It is proposed that they will open one day a week from 10am-6pm. This is currently 10am-7pm one day a week.

This was the most favoured option in the consultation, according to the council, garnering 37.9% support.

Some additional help for councils across Wales has also allowed the council to rethink some of its budget proposals and provide more money for key public services.

Earlier this year, the UK government announced that it would increase its local government settlement by £600m, resulting in a consequential allocation of £25m for Welsh councils.

Other proposals in the council budget include giving schools a 4.3% funding increase of £12.8m a year and giving children and adult social services an extra £26.3m in the next financial year.

Spending of £7.1m will be allocated to highways repairs, £6.7m will go towards the city’s parks and there will be £304m set aside for school delegated budgets next year.

As part of its budget, the council will also be reaffirming its commitment to its 2023/24-2027/28, 5-year capital spend programme.

Its largest commitments in that include a £716.3m investment in social housing, £234m on new school builds and £215.5m on developments like the international sports village and a new 15,000 capacity indoor arena planned for Cardiff Bay.

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