Cornwall Council Budget – Ouch!
A few hours ago the emergency budget for Cornwall Council was released to the general public. As many will know this information was already in the public domain, but I as a Councillor could not comment on it because it was still marked ‘confidential’. So what has changed from that draft info to today’s report? I would say nothing that I could make out. I can honestly say it is going to be bad, but what alternative is there?
Current Recommendations for Service Cuts 2010-11
- Removal of funding for Fire Service Support and Improvement Team (£250k)
- Reduction in subsidy to Leisure Services (500k)
- Reduction in leisure provision (220k)
- Emergency Planning (50k)
- Removal of a number of OSS shops (250k)
- Rationalisation of Libraries (250k)
- Libraries and One Stop Shops 0.000 (475k)
- Reduction in culture budget (50k)
Environment Planning and Economy
- Review Beach Water Safety, toilet provision and cleaning for non owned beaches (100k)
- Transportation, Waste and Environment Client reorganisation (800k)
- Part removal of Bus subsidy (50k)
- Removal of support to evening and Sunday bus services (500k)
- Truro park & ride (250k)
- Transport Studies (300k)
- Part removal of Bus subsidy (100k)
- Removal of Post-16 Transport subsidy (Budget held by Children’s) (500k) (500k 2nd year)
- Newquay Airport – increased income and car park charges (75k)
- Waste – removal of all recycling banks (168k)
- Waste Education (200k)
- Removal of travel awareness budget (300k)
- Traffic management (125k)
- Road safety Education (100k)
- Further reductions in Cornwall Development Company contract (150k) (200k)
- Connexions services further reduction over the 25% (400k)
- Additional grant cuts on top of 24% abg and connexions (800k)
- Publicity and photography (16k)
- Stop Council newspaper column (50k)
- Removal of uplift for Adult Social Care (£4m)
Total Cabinet Recommendations on Potential Service Cuts £10.554 million. As you can see these cuts are really going to hurt services that we provide.
Leisure seems to take a hit with the closure and/or removal of funding for Budehaven, Camelford Leisure Centres and Hayle outdoor pool. Jubilee Pool, Penzance transferred to a non-council organisation, or if not, I guess it will close. The remaining centres that are under the councils control could be placed into a Trust, but as yet I have not seen any details on how that would work. Would the Council owned centre in Helston be allowed to become a trust on its own or with other centres. Helston’s centre is the only one in the west that is still under council control. Most of the council owned ones are in the North of the County
The Libraries and One Stop Shops (OSS) have been targeted as well. It looks from the report that some will be merged together and those who are not well used will closed. This could be up to 20 Libraries and 10 OSS. I shall be eagerly waiting for the model on what qualifies to stay or goes. Helston’s Library has recently been refurbished, so I would hope that is safe. Otherwise it would be a criminal waste of money to refurbish, but then close it.
A shocking and brutal cut that will have impact on people’s lives is the removal of all subsidies for evening bus services. At present this service carries around 460,000 people a year. 27 bus routes could be removed. This will really hurt rural areas that rely on bus services. This is one area I will really struggle to support when it’s time to vote. After my recent brush with public transport the service is bad enough already. This would make it worse.
Post-16 travel subsidy is also likely to go. This again is an area that I will struggle to support. Its all well and good saying colleges will pick up the slack because they need students or else they don’t get funding, but colleges are facing cuts as well. It will be down to the families to find the money. For those on low incomes this would be unaffordable and it would result in a drop in those attending college.
All these areas will go though the Scrutiny process first. This could allow those back-bench Councillors to make changes to what is proposed. Even if some are changed, we still have to find other areas to cut to make up the shortfall.