Jobs And Services Cut In Ceredigion Budget

JOBS and services will be cut in Ceredigion and many council fees and charges will be raised in the next financial year as the county tries to balance its budgets.

Details of savings in all departments were presented to councillors on the county’s Cabinet this week. Increased car park rates, higher charges for meals at home and a rise in council house rents are all on the way.

While school governors will be told they will have to save £1.3million in the next financial year on their individual school budgets; the education department itself will have to find £480,000.

Cllr Ceredig Davies told colleagues that £100,000 of the figure would be saved on jobs. The assistant director post vacated by new department director Eifion Evans will not be replaced and another assistant director post soon to be vacated will also be left unfilled. Other savings will be made on services provided by the department.

In social services budget savings worth £733,000 are needed.

Cllr Hag Harris said these will be partly found by increasing charges for home care, meals at home and laundry. There will also be a review of home care contracts and an inflation freeze in the voluntary sector. Some jobs currently vacant in the department will not be filled.

In environmental services and housing two vacant posts will not be filled, saving £60,000. The out of hours service will be cut, saving £25,000 and extra income will be generated by increasing a range of fees and charges.

Vacancies in the chief executive’s department, including an assistant director post, will also not be filled.

In highways, property and works savings of £821,000 are needed. Cabinet member with responsibility for the department said some of the shortfall wi9ll be met by increased car park charges throughout the county, a rise in trade waste charges, increased income from building control fees and saving energy costs by turning off streetlights after midnight.

In the finance department there are proposals to reduce the members’ mileage rate and to make savings by renegotiating a range of contracts and service rates. The department also proposes ceasing the Christmas lighting grant to town councils, a saving of £3,213.

All the proposals will be discussed in detail by scrutiny committees this week and the budget will be debated by the full council in February.

At the same Cabinet meeting members approved a 4.8 per cent rise in council rents, which will go up by £2.86 a week, and increases across the council’s range of fees and charges.