Posted: Sat 2nd Mar 2024

Ceredigion’s Council Tax Rise Lower than Expected Following Backing of Cost-Cutting Measures

news.wales / newyddion.cymru

Ceredigion’s council tax rise of 11.1 per cent could have been nearly 13 per cent higher if a list of 70 cuts and savings were not backed, a report for councillors says.
Ceredigion’s 11.1 per cent council tax rise budget, which drew strong opposition in the council chamber, had some 70 savings recommendations, totalling £5.793m.
The annual budget was passed by 20 votes to 16, with warnings made that some of the cost-cuttings, operational efficiency changes, fees and costs rises, and savings were effectively being given the “green light” ahead of potential consultations as they were included in the overall budget figure.
According to a report for members ahead of yesterday’s full council meeting where the 2024-’25 budget was set, these cuts and changes, amounted to council tax saving, based on an average Band D property, of 12.87 per cent.
Amongst the many measures in the report – backed as part of agreeing the budget at the February 29 meeting were some that may prove more contentious than others, listed with their estimated savings and the percentage equivalent for council tax purposes.
The introduction of parking charges Aberystwyth Promenade, at £400,000, amounted to a 0.98 per cent saving of the Band D council tax bill.
Some of the other savings/changes are listed below. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Ceasing operating the pest control part of the Community Warden Service, £64,000, 0.14 per cent
Reducing the current mobile library service operation from three core vehicles and one delivery van down to two core vehicles £70,000, 0.16 per cent.
Review of Public Toilets – Combination of increased fees and charges, possible closure, reduce running costs or transfer to town and community councils where appropriate, £100,000, 0.22 per cent.
Automatic streetlighting dimming, £35,000, 0.08 per cent.
New car parking fees and charges, including charging all year round, peak / off peak tiering, charging beyond 8am to 6pm, Premium locations, simpler charging periods (subject to a further Cabinet report) £125,000, 0.28 per cent
Harbours – fees & charges – continued move to full cost recovery to eliminate any council subsidy plus new additional fees for commercial passenger boats £75,000, 0.17 per cent
Limit the number of black bags collected from each household £25,000 -0.06 per cent
Street Cleaning Stop undertaking seasonal street cleaning work and/or transfer to town & community councils £32,000 -0.07 per cent
Review of opening hours across all Household Waste Sites, including closure of one Site £100,000 -0.22 per cent ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

One of those who opposed the budget after raising ‘green light’ concerns was Liberal Democrat group leader on the council Cllr Elizabeth Evans.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Evans said: “One of my concerns is that there were elements contained in the budget yesterday, and which were passed, which are yet to go out to consultation.
“Issues such as closing Rhydeinon household waste site in Llanarth, parking on Aberystwyth prom and moving our public libraries. In supporting the budget, the majority of councillors have also given the green-light to all the different elements contained within the budget papers, and have by extension pre-determined any responses to the consultation process.
“Residents may now question the value of public consultations.”
No waste centre at threat of potential closure has been specified as yet, despite a call for clarity at the February 29 meeting. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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