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Here are the important dates for the decision making process for the 2015/16 budget.
(please note that these dates may be subject to change)
Friday 21 November
Public consultation on budget saving proposals 2015/16 starts.
Monday 12 January (midday)
Public consultation closes.
Tuesday 3 February
Children & Young People Scrutiny Committee meeting on budget proposals
Environment Scrutiny Committee meeting on budget proposals
Wednesday 4 February
Community & Adult Services Scrutiny Committee meeting on budget proposals
Thursday 5 February
Economy & Culture Scrutiny Committee meeting on budget proposals
Monday 9 February
Policy Review & Performance Scrutiny Committee meeting on budget proposals
Thursday 19 February
Cabinet meeting to finalise their proposed 2015/16 budget.
Thursday 26 February
Budget for 2015/16 considered at the Full Council Meeting at City Hall.
The City of Cardiff Council’s Cabinet will this week consider the administration’s 2015/16 budget proposals.
The proposals – published here (www.cardiff.gov.uk/budget) - were agreed after a seven-week-long consultation designed to gather the public’s views on the services they felt were most important to them, and to open up discussions about new ways of delivering services across the city.
The consultation which captured the attention of Cardiff’s citizens was designed to make the public aware of the huge budget shortfall, which requires £41.1m to be found in the 2015/2016 budget alone and a further £119m over the following three years (2016/17 - 18/19).
The Council has an overall budget of £574m, but only £227m of that can be used to make savings. The rest is ring-fenced for areas like schools, precepts and capital charges.
Therefore, the Council could be tasked with saving £119m from the reducing budget by 2018/19 if the ongoing reductions from Welsh Government continue, combined with the increasing financial pressures the council faces as a result of growing demand for services. This could represent a savings target in excess of 50 per cent over the next four years.
During the consultation process some 4,191 people completed the Changes for Cardiff questionnaire, while 500 people attended Council-run engagement events across the city. More than 21,016 people gave their views via petitions and one community poll saw 2,619 people vote on a single budget issue.
The process made it the most publically-engaged budget consultation and the longest-running one ever undertaken by the Council.
The 2015/16 budget shortfall of £41.1m will be accounted for in the following ways:
The proposed budget could also see an overall staff reduction of 587 FTEs. This includes the potential impact of alternative delivery models which could see 216 employees transferred under TUPE.
Some of the key recommendations in the budget proposal include:
Leader of the City of Cardiff Council, Cllr Phil Bale said: “This has been an incredibly difficult and challenging budget. The scale of cuts we face this year, indeed over the next three years, are startling. It is clear that it is becoming impossible for the Council to continue delivering the services that our citizens have taken as their right for many years.
“This is why we embarked on such a detailed and prolonged consultation process. It’s important that people understand the challenges we face. It’s crucial too, that we understand the services which they hold most dear.
“The future will look very different if these austerity cuts continue and that is why we have called on communities to take action and join us in reshaping services across the city.
“We have been heartened by the many groups that have come forward offering to volunteer and to help provide services in different ways in the future. But there’s no getting away from the fact that austerity is driving us down a dark and miserable path that no one would choose to travel."
Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Performance, Cllr Graham Hinchey, said “The cuts we face are an attack on our communities. We are being forced to make these cuts because of the austerity agenda. I didn’t come into local government to take away public services. I would rather be in a position where we are investing in public services for our communities, but we have a responsibility as councillors to bring in a balanced budget.”
Key amendments to budget proposals which the public consulted on include:
The initial savings proposal of £283,000 around the city’s seven branch libraries has been removed from the budget proposals for one year while alternative methods of delivery are sought with community groups and interested parties. The Cabinet is considering approving its libraries’ strategy which seeks partnerships to produce solutions. It also recognises that different solutions may have to be found for different libraries and these will be the subject of future considerations.
It is anticipated there will be a £1.1m saving within the budget by remodelling Youth Service provision with the aim of moving to a new model of delivery in 2015/16. The Council will continue to support the delivery of youth provision throughout the city, directly supporting provision with targeted Council-run services for young people and communities in greatest need and providing an open access centre in each of the city's six neighbourhood areas.
During a period of transition the Council will continue to work with partners and communities to deliver open access provision throughout the city.
A new model for children’s play is envisaged which would entail more targeted provision, with play-related activities being provided by other organisations on various sites. The Council would neither manage nor staff children’s Play Centres beyond March 31, 2015. However, the Council will work closely with interested community groups to work up robust business and implementation plans, so that they will be able to take over the operation and management of premises. In the first instance this may include an element of temporary ‘start-up’ finance from the Council. It is hoped that some of the premises can be transferred to community management by the end of March 2015. Any buildings that have not been transferred to community groups by 31 March will be maintained for up to six months in order that they remain in reasonable condition. During this period the Council will continue to actively work with those community groups to enable the premises to be used for general community uses via short term leases or licences for up to five years. The Council will continue to commission targeted play services covering disability play, Welsh medium play and holiday play schemes across the city.
In recognition of the positive impact Friends Groups have on the city’s parks and green spaces and having listened to concerns raised by the public during the consultation, the proposed savings in relation to remodelling the Park Ranger Service have been reduced by £30,000 in 2015/16. This will allow the service to maintain its outreach work with Friends Groups for one year.
The original £800,000 saving has been reduced to £400,000 in 2015/16. This will allow alternative arrangements and service delivery models to be developed over a one-year period. During that time there will be a phased approach to closing the centres based at Gabalfa, Fairwater, Llanrumney and Ely.
Everyone will have their care needs reviewed in order to ensure that their future ongoing needs are appropriately met. For some people this will identify community based facilities, eg luncheon clubs, which will offer a more localised and engaging service. The aim is to keep people closer to their communities. For those people who are more vulnerable and who will require more buildings-based services, recommissioning work will be carried out. The majority of people do not attend day centres and have their needs met at home through the provision of domiciliary care. Services for people with dementia will continue to have their service provided in an alternative day centre while the council explores a recommissioned service with the third sector.
Community Drug and Alcohol Team
A saving of £218,000 has been proposed through changes to the Community Alcohol and Drug Team’s counselling service. To assist continuation of the service, the council proposes to establish a one-off fund to develop the volunteer aspect of the service. The volunteer counselling service is a highly cost-effective provision and in order to maintain it the Council will retain sufficient resources in 2015/16 in relation to counsellor expertise to manage, co-ordinate and supervise the volunteer component of the service.
City of Cardiff Council, Head of Communications and External Relations, Tim Gordon
Tel: 029 2087 2964
Full Budget Proposals for 2015/16 (600kb PDF)Link opens in a new window
Changes for Cardiff Consultation Document (4MB PDF)Link opens in a new window
This document explains the challenges facing the City of Cardiff Council and provides information about our approach to meeting our budget shortfall and how we will consult on the city-wide proposals regarding issues of general interest that are being put forward to help meet the financial challenges
City of Cardiff Council’s Equality Impact Assessment of proposed financial savings for the 2015/16 Budget
Service specific proposals:
The public consultation period on budget proposals for 2015/16 ran from the 21st of November for 7 weeks, closing on the 12th January 2015.
There were a number of ways in which people were able to have their say:
What you have told us is currently being compiled in a report which will go to Cabinet and will inform the decisions made on the City of Cardiff Council’s budget for 2015/16. The consultation report will be available here at the end of January.
Download a copy of the community engagement events (2MB PDF)Link opens in a new window
The equality team reviewing the equality risk ratings and amending these ratings as appropriate. The amended spreadsheet returned to the corporate finance team.
The equality team identifying all proposals rated as either Red or a Red-Amber equality risk and therefore needing a completed equality impact assessment (EIA).
Directorates completing and returning draft EIAs to the equality team to provide advice and guidance on how EIAs could be improved.
Scrutiny Committees consider Cabinet’s final draft budget proposals, and make views know to Cabinet.
Cabinet recommends final proposals to Full Council.
Full Council meets to set the 2015/16 Council budget.