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Cardiff residents are being urged to share their views on the Council’s budget proposals for 2018/19

 

 

Cardiff residents are being urged to share their views on the Council's budget proposals for 2018/19.

 

The Council needs to find £23m to balance the books and Cabinet will agree outline proposals for consultation on Thursday, November 2. A six-week consultation will then begin with the public running from Thursday, November 2 until midday Thursday, December 14.

 

Cabinet member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, Cllr Chris Weaver said: "It's really important our residents take this opportunity to feed into the budget process. We have clear ideas about what we need to do but this six-week budget consultation will allow them to tell us what really matters to them. We want to make the right decisions and we can only do that by listening to residents."

 

As part of the proposals the Council is looking at a number of options which include:

  • A 3.7% Council Tax increase (78p a week on a Band D property) raising £4.7m

  • A 30% cap on schools' financial pressures (with the exceptions of pupil number growth) saving £1.5m

  • Using £2.35m of reserves

  • Finding £14.3m in savings and increased revenue opportunities

 

Specific proposals include:

  • Increasing the price of schools meals by 10p a meal

  • Increasing the price of rehoming a puppy by £10 and dogs by £20

  • Increasing the cost of burials and cremations by £20

  • Ceasing publication of the Council's quarterly newspaper ‘In Cardiff'

 

Cllr Weaver, added: "There are no easy options. Austerity hasn't ended. Our plan includes an increase in Council Tax, but Council Tax alone goes nowhere near to covering the gap. An increase will enable us to maintain some of the services that our residents value which might otherwise have to be lost. The demand pressures we face are continually being evaluated and if Council Tax needs to rise to meet those demands we can't rule out higher increases at this point.

 

"Under these proposals schools will receive an extra £2m for pupil number growth and an extra £3.5m for other demand pressures, but - as we did this year - we are asking schools to find some money to go towards things like pay increases or utility bills.

 

"This consultation and Cabinet Report sets out our strategy to deliver a balanced budget. We are working hard to protect residents from the full force of the cuts and I want them to know that we will listen to their views.

 

"There's little doubt that the Council has to continue to modernise and looking at how we use technology and digital services to help us deliver savings and improve relationships with citizens will play a big role moving forward.

 

"We are working our way through an incredibly challenging time financially. Our population continues to grow and demand for the services we deliver is on the rise, but we are getting less money in real terms from Government to deliver the services our citizens expect."

 

Even though Cardiff Council received an increase in funding from Welsh Government of 0.2% (or £954,000) for next year, the demand pressures facing the Council caused by population growth and inequality, allied to cost pressures like inflation, mean that the costs of delivering public services has increased substantially leading to the budget gap.

 

Cllr Weaver added: "If the southern arc of Cardiff from Ely in the west to Trowbridge in the east was considered a single local authority it would be far and away the poorest in Wales. Despite this, Cardiff receives the second-lowest level of government support of all the local authorities in Wales. Clearly this, allied to the population growth we are seeing, creates incredible pressure on the services we deliver.

 

"It's important we are open and upfront about the choices we have to make. That's why we want our residents to have their say. Clearly cuts will still have to be made and I believe people realise that. It's important we prioritise key services and this consultation is the public's chance to tell us what matters to them. I want to urge as many people as possible to get involved. Your Council delivers services that affect everyone across the city - please don't miss this opportunity to have your voice heard."

 

The draft budget proposals, which go out for consultation, can change before the final budget is set in February next year. The public's view will be taken into account as will the effect of the Council's final budget settlement which will be revealed in December. The Council faces significant and ongoing financial challenges with a budget gap of £23m for 2018/19 and a potential shortfall of £73m over the next three years. This comes on top of over £200m in savings that has been found over the past 10 years.

 

Any residents who want to take part in the consultation can do so by viewing the Changes for Cardiff document and filling in the questionnaire online atwww.cardiff.gov.uk/budgetwhich will be available from Thursday, November 2. Hard copies will be available for people at libraries, leisure centres and hubs or you can request a hard copy version by emailingbudget@cardiff.gov.ukor telephoning 02920 873854. For a full version of the budget proposals, please read the Council's Cabinet Report of November 2, 2017, atwww.cardiff.gov.uk/budget

 

Hard copies will also be distributed to residents at some community events in the city. Details of those events will be available through the Council's social media channels and atwww.cardiff.gov.uk/budget

 

10 Things you need to know about Cardiff's 2018/19 Budget Proposals

 

  • The City Council is facing a budget gap of £23m next year (2018/19) and a potential shortfall of £73m over the next three years.

  • £200m in savings have already been found over the past ten years.

  • 1,600 full time employees left the Council as part of budget savings in the four year period 2013/14 - 2016/17.

  • The provisional settlement from Welsh Government - plus 0.2% (£954K) - is slightly more favourable than we budgeted for. However, it is still a cut in real terms because of inflation and increased demand pressures.

  • To meet the £23m budget gap in 2018/19 Cabinet is proposing the following: increase Council Tax by 3.7% - 78p a week extra on a Band D house, raising £4.7m net. Find savings of £14.3m; Use up £2.4m of reserves; Limit growth on schools' budgets by 30% saving £1.5m.

  • Council tax receipts currently make up only 27% of our £587m budget. A Council Tax increase of 3.7% will bring in £4.7m net enabling us to continue to finance some of the non-statutory services residents want.

 

  • School budgets will receive an extra £2m for pupil number growth and £3.5m for other pressures, but we are asking them to find some money to go towards things like pay increases and energy bills.

 

  • Over the last decade Cardiff's population grew by 10% (35,000 people) and it is projected to grow by 20% between now and 2037. Over the next 20 years Cardiff is set to see a larger growth in population than all the other 21 Council areas in Wales combined.

 

  • This growth will put a strain on the city's infrastructure and place significant demand on public services. It will increase the cost of delivering those services leading to the projected £73m Budget gap over the next three years.

 

  • If the Southern Arc of Cardiff, from Ely in the West to Trowbridge in the East was considered a single local authority it would be far and away the poorest in Wales. Despite this, Cardiff receives the second-lowest level of government support of all the local authorities in Wales.

 

Any residents who want to take part in the consultation can do so by viewing the Changes for Cardiff document and filling in the questionnaire online atwww.cardiff.gov.uk/budgetfrom Thursday, November 2. The budget consultation closes on Thursday, December 14. Hard copies will be available for people at libraries, leisure centres and hubs or you can request a hard copy version by emailingbudget@cardiff.gov.ukor telephoning 02920 873854. For a full version of the budget proposals, please read the City Council's Cabinet Report of November 2, 2017, atwww.cardiff.gov.uk/budget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUDGET STRATEGY 2018/19

£000

£000

 

 

 

 

 

Council Tax Increase 3.7%

4,686

 

 

Schools - non-pupil number growth capped by 30%

1,461

 

 

Use of Reserves

2,350

 

 

 

 

8,497

 

Savings

 

 

 

Income Generation

2,900

 

 

Collaboration

323

 

 

Business Processes including digitalisation

3,726

 

 

Review of external spend

4,546

 

 

Prevention and Early Intervention

2,801

 

 

 

 

14,296

 

 

 

 

 

BUDGET STRATEGY

 

22,793