Cardiff Council Explores Changes in Bin Collection and Increased Charges to Tackle £30m Budget Gap

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As part of its strategy to address a substantial £30 million budget gap, Cardiff Council is contemplating significant measures, including the potential collection of black bin bags once every three weeks. The revelation is part of a broader set of proposals aimed at overcoming the financial challenges posed by a provisional settlement from the Welsh Government in December.

Among the initiatives outlined in the budget consultation document released on January 2, Cardiff Council is considering a 3% increase in council tax, which will be subject to a public consultation starting January 8. A spokesperson for the council stressed the necessity of this increase, stating, “Without council tax, many of the other important services delivered could be lost or face severe cuts.”

The budget gap, standing at £30 million, has been attributed to factors such as high inflation, anticipated pay increases, and a growing demand for services, with social care being the primary driver. The surge in demand for advice services and a substantial increase in rough sleepers since 2022/23 have further strained the council’s resources.

Proposals to address the budget gap include a range of measures, such as:

  1. Restricting opening times for hubs and libraries, with an increased reliance on volunteers to support service operations.
  2. Raising the cost of hiring sports pitches.
  3. Adjusting prices for burials and cremation services.
  4. Modifying park management practices, including reducing maintenance on sections of parks and green spaces, decreasing the number of floral displays, and implementing re-wilding in certain planting areas.
  5. Reducing the frequency of street cleansing.

To generate additional revenue, the council is considering the introduction of charges for garden waste collection, with a proposed fee ranging from £35 to £45 annually, mirroring schemes in other local authorities. Regarding parking charges, the council is exploring elevated pay and display tariffs for car parks closer to the city centre.

As part of the proposed parking changes, the council is seeking public input on an average increase of £1 per hour in the city centre and 50p in districts outside the city centre. Furthermore, the cost of a first car parking permit may rise from £24 to £30, while a second permit could see an increase from £54 to £80.

A spokesperson for the council emphasized the importance of community involvement in the decision-making process, stating, “Understanding the services the community wants in the future and what they are willing to pay more for is crucial. This consultation is integral to that process.”

The spokesperson acknowledged the financial challenges faced by the council, noting that the 4.1% budget increase from the Welsh Government is less than half of what was received for the 2023/24 budget. Despite this, reassurances were made that efforts would be undertaken to safeguard crucial services such as social care and school budgets.

While the proposed measures are intended to bridge the budget gap, the spokesperson acknowledged the difficulty of the choices ahead, saying, “There are some tough decisions that will need to be made. It’s crucial that residents participate in the budget consultation and express what truly matters to them.”

The budget proposals are set to undergo detailed scrutiny by various local authority committees in the coming weeks. The public consultation on Cardiff Council’s budget proposals for 2024/24 is scheduled to conclude on Sunday, February 4.

Elliot Preece
Elliot Preece
Founder | Editor Elliot is an experienced journalist manager with a passion for writing. He played a pivotal role in building the News Write Ups website as a web developer and has since been leading the team of journalists to produce high-quality content. With his strong background in writing and web development, Elliot ensures that the website not only functions smoothly but also provides engaging and informative articles for readers.

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