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new cardiff > ENG > Your Council > Council Finance > Council Budget > Budget Archive > Archived Q & A session - 17/12/15

Archived Budget Q and A Session - 17th December 2015

Below is the full transcript of the live Question and Answer session held on budget proposals for 2015 / 16. This session was held at 12pm on the 17th of December 2015 and was chaired by Councillor Bale and Councillor Hinchey.




City of Cardiff Council
Good afternoon and thank you for joining the City Council's live budget Q&A with Council Leader, Cllr Phil Bale, and Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Performance, Cllr Graham Hinchey.
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a day ago
11:51 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
Cllr Bale and Cllr Hinchey will be taking questions from 12.15pm.
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a day ago
12:04 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
This is your opportunity to ask questions about the Council’s budget proposals. More information on the proposals can be found on our budget pages - https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/...
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a day ago
12:05 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
For information on how this session will work and the rules – visit https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/...
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a day ago
12:07 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
Both Cllrs are here and we are almost ready to go.
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a day ago
12:11 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
Thank you to everyone who submitted a question in advance. We’ll be starting off with the following question, submitted by Luke via our website: “I know that the recent Welsh Government settlement has produced a lower budget reduction than has been planned for. Does this mean there will be less cuts needed for 2016-17?”
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a day ago
12:12 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
Our funding settlement from @leightonandrews @janehutt last week was better than expected – which is very welcome news! This will give us some breathing space for 2016/17, but the Council still faces a budget gap of over £30m next year. Our settlement is also only for one year which has to be kept in mind as there is still a large shortfall to make up over the next three years.
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a day ago
12:12 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
We now need time to consider the rewsults of the current public consultation before making any decisions.
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a day ago
12:12 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From David Hail
Good afternoon, It was mentioned in a recent e-mail that we were expecting a £45.6m budget shortfall in 2016/17 and we had been offered a better settlement, however the figure for the "better settlement" is not provided. May we ask what the actual settlement is?
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a day ago
12:13 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council: 
Hi David, Cllr Bale is answering a similar question at the moment and will pick this up to. Thanks for your question.
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a day ago
12:13 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Yvonne
Is the future of St David's Hall and New Theatre staff secure?
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a day ago
12:13 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council: 
Cllr Hinchey will answer this one.
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a day ago
12:13 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
Lots of questions coming in - thanks to all taking part - we'll get to each question as soon as we can!
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a day ago
12:15 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From LauraHDrane
Cllr Bale, in a Q&A with the Sprout recently, you talked again about Cardiff becoming the most liveable city in Europe. In the city's 10 year strategy, Cardiff Proud Capital, one ambition of the eight is that the city should be a great place to live, work and play. How can you explain the council budget proposal to cut arts and culture investment which directly supports and delivers on those?
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a day ago
12:15 - 17 Dec 2015
cllr hinchey
We are currently new a number of options and in all of these the security of staff is upermost in our minds. We are currently in the procurrment process and the rsults of this is expected early next year. Staff and TUs will continue to be consulted throughout this open and transparent process
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a day ago
12:16 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Dan
Hi both. Can you please outline the consequences for primary schools in the City and can you confirm that schools will get the 1% protected uplift from the Welsh Government. Cheers
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a day ago
12:16 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Sue
Conservative Chancellor George Osborne says that cutting the arts is a false economy because of the social, economic and quality of life benefits they bring. What are your thoughts when looking at Cardiff's arts budgets?
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a day ago
12:17 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council: 
Hi Sue - Cllr Bale is answering a similar question from 12.15 at the moment which will hopefully cover it. Thanks.
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a day ago
12:17 - 17 Dec 2015
cllr hinchey
Cardiff has consistantly provided schools with budget settlements greater than the Welsh Govt protection level and the current proposals provide them with a 4.6% uplift or £9.5m. this significantly exceeds the WG 1% protection level.

Cardiff also has the highest rate of delegated responsibilities level in Wales, giving schools much more choice on how they manage their responsibilities.
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about 24 hours ago
12:21 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale
We face incredibly difficult decisions, like many other councils across the UK. We have to find new ways to support the arts in our capital city, I fully understand the value of the arts and how they can enrich our city. At present a large amount of the council's support goes towards subsidising St Davids Hall and the New Theatre but we need to find other ways to support other arts activities, not just buildings. Projects such as the Depot and Street Food have the support of the council but that support is not necessarily financial (but can be in kind support for example or signposting to other financial support) due to the tough cuts we face.
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about 24 hours ago
12:22 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
A question submitted in advance by Clive and Anna - will the Council's budget proposals lead to staff redundancies?
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about 24 hours ago
12:22 - 17 Dec 2015
cllr hinchey: 
The sustained cuts towards Public Services and particulary local Council Services has been going on for some years now. Cardiff has saved over £203m in the last decade and is the fastest growing City in the UK, with increasing demands and sustained reduced funding. As with most Councils our largest bill is people costs. Inevitably the need to reduce costs will impact on emplyee budgets and the shape of the workforce. The first option would be to look at vacant posts, invite expressions of interest in voluntary severance and look at redeployment first. Our record is good in this area and we have a regular diologue (2 weekly meetings)with all Trade Unions. There will be ongoing consultations with potentially affected staff throughout the process.
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about 24 hours ago
12:22 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From John A
In 2014 it was reported that the Council spent £9m buying the Wood Street NCP car park, so this can be knocked down for the Central Square & Bus Station redevelopment. Is this correct, and if so, can this possibly be justified given the massive savings being discussed? This amount would, for example, run all Libraries in Cardiff for over two years.
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about 24 hours ago
12:23 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
For many years the city has suffered from having an out of date bus station and no firms plans for delivering a new one. I'm satisfied that this investment has kickstarted the regeneration of this part of the city and we have had a great deal of positive coverage and support from residents who want to see a top class bus interchange and a new gateway to Cardiff and the wider region which we can all be proud of. We needed to buy this site to unlock the potential of Central Square. Bringing more and better paid jobs to Cardiff is one of our administration's top priorities and Central Square will help us to devliver this.
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about 24 hours ago
12:23 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale
The new BBC HQ has just started construction and the use of world leading architects such as Foster + Partners will bring about a step change in architectural quality and design in key parts of our city centre.
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about 24 hours ago
12:28 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Robert
The Council is continuing to advertise jobs that appear to be permanent. With budget cuts of over £100m over the next 3 years & Council mergers on the horizon, wouldn't it be better to have a vacancy freeze & only recruit on temporary contracts?
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about 24 hours ago
12:29 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
We are undergoing a period og immense change and reshaping as an organisation. This means that sometimes we have to recruit externally for the brightest talent to help us go through these changes. Currently, we always try to fill vacancies internally first through redeployment but it is worth noting that much of the new jobs growth is in areas of high demand, such as social services and education, where we need to recruit more teachers and social workers to meet the needs of a growing population.
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about 24 hours ago
12:29 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
A question from Twitter: Why was so much money wasted on wheelie bins that nobody wanted or needed?
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about 24 hours ago
12:33 - 17 Dec 2015
cllr hinchey: 
All Council are facing significant increases in the amount of waste that should not go into landfill. if they fail to do this then we (all of us as taxpayers) can receive fines of up to £400,000 for each 1% of the target missed. if people view the wide range of items that can now be put into green bags, food waste caddies and green bins, there is not a lot left that should go into black bins. I would encourage everyone to visit the Councils website (waste and recycling)and play their part in contributing towards a better world for our future generations
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about 24 hours ago
12:33 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Emma Geliot
Cardiff was recently selected by the Core Cities Programme to lead on culture for all of the Core Cities, how can the council (of the capital city of Wales) deliver on this if cultural activity in Cardiff is pared back to embarrassing levels? And what message is this sending out to other local authorities in Wales?
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about 24 hours ago
12:34 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
I am the cultural lead for the core cities and so am aware of the really difficult challenges councils across the UK now face with contracting arts budgets. The Core Cities recently commissioned a report on the arts and how we can look at new ways of aiding the creative sector, building on the existing networks and talent that we already have to improve collaboration within and between cultural hubs across the UK.
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about 24 hours ago
12:34 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
Question submitted via Twitter: "I would like to ask where has [the budget] it actually gone ?"
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about 24 hours ago
12:38 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
If you mean how is the budget currently spent? You can view a breakdown via the City Council's Council Tax newsletter online at :- https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/...
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about 24 hours ago
12:38 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
We have already cut over £100m in the last three years, and prior to the latest WG settlement we were anticipating taking out more than this amount again in the next three years. This is a result of our funding failing to keep pace with the increased demand Cardiff faces as a successful city and a key economic driver for the region. We have one of the fastest-growing populations in the UK which places exceptionally high demands on our schools and on our social services, for example.
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about 24 hours ago
12:38 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Rob
Can the phasing of the traffic lights at the top of Cathedral road from Cowbridge road be changed to make pedestrian crossing more frequent? 3 or 4 minutes waiting is common, and it's a busy pedestrian commuter route. I know crossings have been introduced further down Cathedral road, but this is where the bottleneck is.
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about 24 hours ago
12:40 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council: 
Thanks for your comments Rob - we'll pass this on to the appropriate Council officers but this Q&A session is focusing on budget proposals.
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about 24 hours ago
12:40 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
Only 20 minutes left! Cllr Bale and Cllr Hinchey will answer as many questions as possible, so keep them coming in!
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about 24 hours ago
12:41 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Pontcanna
How much has been saved by neglecting street cleansing? Numerous requests to clear gutters and drains have been seemingly ignored and residents are now resorting to clearing leaf litter themselves. Are you content to see this continue?
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about 24 hours ago
12:43 - 17 Dec 2015
cllr hinchey: 
Street cleansing is a high priority for all Councillors and we are not neglecting this area. one good example that has been trialled in the west of the City and now being rolled out is our Neighbourhood Trials, which provides a one stop approach and were operatives are now multi skilled to deal with various activities. I am aware and applaud the "Big Sweep" event that recently took place in Riverside/Poncanna area and included dedicated local Cllrs Iona Gordon, Darren Williams and Caro Wild. This demonstrates people are willing to take ownership of their local area, gets people together and enhances community spirit.
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about 24 hours ago
12:43 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From John A
Response to Cllr Bale: £9m for a dilapidated car park is possibly the worst value transaction since Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace in 2005. The Council and, by extension, the people of Cardiff, were clearly robbed. Nevertheless thank you for attempting an answer to the question.
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about 24 hours ago
12:43 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From LauraHDrane
Thank you for the answer Cllr Bale. The Well-being of Future Generations Act - an important new piece of legislation - enshrines “a Wales of vibrant culture” as one of the seven well-being goals for the people and the country. There is evidence that arts and culture deliver against each of the six other goals too – prosperity, resilience, health, equality, community cohesion and global responsibility. Added to which, Cardiff is the culture lead for the UK Core Cities group, which includes Manchester, Bristol and others. How can we be a credible capital city with status and profile when you are proposing to remove investment which generates a huge return (in every sense) for the city? Even a Tory Chancellor says so.
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about 24 hours ago
12:44 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council: 
Hi Laura - thanks for your comments - think this has been covered in previous answers now.
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about 24 hours ago
12:44 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
and its a Tory Chancellor thats cutting local council budgets. At least in Wales, the Welsh Govt. has indicated that they will do their best to try to proect local public services. Nevertheless, it is extremely difficult to plan and invest in local services when you only have one year budgets.
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about 24 hours ago
12:44 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
A question submitted in advance by Mark - What is the best way to present ideas for income generation to the Council? For Council staff and for residents.
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about 24 hours ago
12:45 - 17 Dec 2015
cllr hinchey: 
We would welcome any ideas from the public on income generation and the last section of the Changes for Cardiff document allows for this, which can be found on our website or by attending any of the local events For employees they can channel their ideas through employee roadshows, service area Ambassadors or directly to their Line Manager. Local Councillors will also welcome your ideas as they obviously play an important role in representing their communities and the City as a whole
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about 24 hours ago
12:45 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Steve
With smaller bins, cutbacks to street cleaning and cutting hedges etc, and the genral service the council provide, can i get a cut in my Tax please? it's all a joke!
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about 24 hours ago
12:46 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
Hi Steve, Council Tax only brings in around 25% of our funding for local services, the rest comes from central govt. grants. Each 1% increase in Council Tax brings in net extra funding of around £1.1m, so if we were to meet our gap of £45m through Council Tax residents would be facing a rise of around 40%! Obviously this is not going to happen but Im just trying to be clear on the scale of the challenges we face and how small a proportion we get from council tax. Its also worth remembering that we have had to bring in smaller bins to help us recycle more. If we fail to do this, we face massive fines going forward.
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about 24 hours ago
12:46 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From John R
When Major Events such as the Rugby World Cup, or incoming Champions League, come to the City, who pays for the street cleaning, road closures, policing, crowd control etc? Is this coming from our council tax and are the people of Cardiff paying for all this additional pressure which does not benefit us? (if it did, we wouldn't be faced with cuts, right?)
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about 24 hours ago
12:51 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
The City Council has a ring fenced budget for hosting major events due to the importance we place on them. For example, the Rugby World Cup was estimated to bring over £300m into the local economy and in supporting local jobs and services. They also help raise our international profile massively, with the Champions League Final reaching a global audience in the many millions. Not all costs are met by the Council, such as policing and central government will also often be involved in providing support. But its hard to deny the value of these events to the city in terms of economic impact and the marketing power that they bring.
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about 24 hours ago
12:51 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Iain
In the budget consultation the £9.5m for demographic/inflation pressure on school budgets is £4m less than the £13.5m full coverage for these given as a substantial part of the 2016-17 financial pressure. Does the greatly increased WG grant mean the schools budget will be increased closer to the full demographic/inflation pressure of £13.5m ?
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about 23 hours ago
12:54 - 17 Dec 2015
cllr hinchey: 
All demographic growth (pupil numbers and their associated needs such as free school meals and SEN) are being fully funded. e current proposals are asking schools to also play a part in making their school more efficient. cardiff still needs to find around another £115m of savings over the next 3 years We will be listening to all the responses from the public, including parents and teachers, before we finalise our budget proposals
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about 23 hours ago
12:54 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
We are getting a lot of questions on the arts... we'll try and pick them up in one go. Thanks for your questions.
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about 23 hours ago
12:56 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Bob
With the arts budgets shrinking year on year, and the focus on building on our exisiting networks, how can the council think that axing Cardiff Contemporary, a festival that not only celebrates just that, but galvanised it in a way that encouraged cultural tourism, is in any way a good idea?
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about 23 hours ago
12:56 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
As I said earlier, we need to consider all the feedback from the public on the current budget consultation as well as hear any ideas or suggestions on how we can strengthen our connections with the creative sector.
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about 23 hours ago
12:56 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From g39
The arts feature as part of Cardiff Council's corporate plan to 2017, does the current plan still stand?
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about 23 hours ago
12:56 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
We are currently updating the Corporate Plan, but as I said earlier, we need to find new ways of provding support for the arts which is something all core cities across the UK and considering.
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about 23 hours ago
12:56 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Gail Howard
Can you confirm the council's position re funding for Cardiff Contemporary and Artes Mundi?
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about 23 hours ago
12:56 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
We will consider the results of the public consultation after it closes in January. In the meantime, please respond to the consultation which is available via the City Council's website.
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about 23 hours ago
12:56 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
Cllr Bale will answer the questions from Gail, g39 and Bob
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about 23 hours ago
12:58 - 17 Dec 2015
Is this a useful tool for the Council to use to discuss budget proposals?
Yes
93%
No
7%
Unsure
0%
Select an answer
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about 23 hours ago
12:59 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Neil
Surely Cardiff Singer of the World is worth investing in as it attracts visitors from all over the world and great tv coverage?
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about 23 hours ago
12:59 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale: 
Competitions such as CSOTW do have great support in the city, but there also needs to be a greater role for the provate sector in supporting and sponsoring the city's cultural offer.
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about 23 hours ago
12:59 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
Thank you / Diolch yn fawr to everyone who has taken part in today’s Budget Q&A - time is up! Cllr Bale and Hinchey are just finishing up their final answers. We’ll publish the script of this session bilingually and will try and answer any questions we missed on the budget pages of Cardiff.gov.uk.
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about 23 hours ago
13:03 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council
Remember to visit our website and find out other ways you can have your say on the City Council's budget proposals - https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/...
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about 23 hours ago
13:04 - 17 Dec 2015
cllr hinchey
Thank you very much for the questions. Graham Hinchey
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about 23 hours ago
13:07 - 17 Dec 2015
Cllr Phil Bale
Signing out for this session! Thanks to everyone for the questions and please have your say in the current consultation. Hwyl Fawr! Phil
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about 23 hours ago
13:07 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Sam
'Cllr Bale will answer the questions from Gail, g39 and Bob'
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about 23 hours ago
13:09 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council: 
Hi Sam - if you follow down you will see he answered each question.
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about 23 hours ago
13:09 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Yvonne
Is the Council still on course to transfer over to a New Operator from 1 April 2016?
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about 23 hours ago
13:17 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council: 
Hi Yvonne - Cllrs are gone but we will try and answer your questions. If you are referring to St David's Hall and New Theatre, a procurement exercise is underway and will conclude in the new year. The exercise is at a commercially sensitive stage and details will go into the public domain when a recommendation is ready to go to Cabinet.
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about 23 hours ago
13:17 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Guest
You mention the Core Cities report
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about 23 hours ago
13:19 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council: 
The Core Cities report that was mentioned earlier - http://www.corecities.com/n...
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about 23 hours ago
13:19 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Jon
In light of Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader, will Labour councillors in Cardiff now take a more combative role in opposing the politically motivated cuts to local government budgets, as Labour councils did in the 1980's?
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about 23 hours ago
13:20 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council: 
Council officers responding here - the Council has a statutory duty to achieve a balanced budget.
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about 23 hours ago
13:20 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Sam
The proposal seems to show Cardiff Council abdicating it's responsibility to nurture the visual arts in the city. The last Cardiff Contemporary programme was hugely successful in this regard. How will the council support the arts in the City in future?
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about 23 hours ago
13:21 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council: 
Thanks for your question. As Cllr Bale mentioned earlier in the Q&A discussion, the Council is looking at new and innovative ways of working with the cultural sector.
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about 23 hours ago
13:21 - 17 Dec 2015
Comment From Lee f
Does cardiff council make proper use of vehicles within cardiff council as I don't believe that the current tendering offers value for cardiff residents as I know cardiff council waste millions every year with the current system
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about 23 hours ago
13:22 - 17 Dec 2015
City of Cardiff Council: 
Hi Lee - we will try and get a response to this and will include it when we post the transcript of this session on our website in the next few days.
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about 23 hours ago
13:22 - 17 Dec 2015
Cymraeg