Author Topic: CCBC costs and cutting  (Read 42201 times)

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DaveR

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CCBC costs and cutting
« Reply #-1 on: October 30, 2010, 10:42:46 AM »
The first inklings of cutbacks in Conwy County are starting to surface. Naturally, there's no mention of cutting the legions of overpaid managers in Bodlondeb...

The last sentence is also hilarious.  Go, Team Conwy!!!  ;D

Conwy council details extent of £11m savings - with more to come

THE SCALE of looming cutbacks is today revealed in a snapshot by one council – as it considers hiking up even the price of ice cream to claw back cash

Huge savings being planned for Conwy include upping the cost of cremations and car parking, axing school lollipop patrols and rubbish collections and cutting school budgets by £3m.

The detail being gone into is so great, proposals even include increasing the cost of buying an ice cream at Venue Cymru, where a staff shake up may also be on the cards.

The pay and display zone for parking in Llandudno will be extended as parking charges in the county also rise, under proposals to be put to councillors on Monday.

A crackdown on fraud over single person council tax discounts aims to save £150,000 next year, with rises also proposed in allotment, and mooring charges.

Schools spending could be cut by £3.39m or 6%, while social services is in line for a £2.21m cut or 5%.

But that is just the half of it.

Savings set out so far in a report to be considered by councillors next week only reach £11m –  of the full £21m savings needed.

Finance officers warn that even the three waves of spending curbs already drawn up still fall £10m short of the savings target set in Conwy by 2013-14, with a Wave 4 still needed - which will involve “tough decisions”.

Councils across Wales are examining their budgets in the aftermath of the UK Government’s comprehensive spending review.

The Welsh Assembly Government will set out its spending plans next month, including the revenue support settlement for councils which accounts for almost 80% of local authority income.

Andrew Kirkham, acting corporate director and head of finance for Conwy, says in the report that the accumulated savings anticipated over the next three financial years is £21.89m or 12% of this year’s base budget.

Seeking approval by councillors for the ‘Wave 3’ of spending cuts proposed for the authority, he says they would reduce the budget shortfall to £10.06m.

“Heads of service and services generally have been asked to build on their work and develop even more options through a ‘wave 4’ exercise.

“It is the intention that this should bring in to the democratic consideration initiatives that go beyond ‘traditional thinking’, hence the next exercise is likely to produce areas of savings that will require ‘difficult decisions’ in addition to the more ‘acceptable’ savings.”

Officials were working hard to identify further savings to attempt to minimise the cuts and therefore the difficult decisions that will need to be taken during challenging times for the public sector generally and Conwy specifically, he said.

“Members will be acutely aware that the need to achieve significant savings comes at a time when many services are seeing the demand for services increasing, notably care for the elderly and children’s services.”

“Moreover Local Government will not enter this period of cuts from as well funded a starting point as the NHS, which has had far steeper rises in revenue funding in recent years,” he said.

Conwy council’s cabinet will consider the measure next week.

Mr Kirkham said: “What is becoming clear even now is that in addition to the anticipated cut to the Revenue Support Grant which currently represents 78% of our resource base, Local Government is also going to see reductions in specific grants that support local government services.

“We still have a long way to go to identify the level of savings that will close the anticipated financial gap, but it is fair to say that the ‘Team Conwy’ spirit has already produced a significant response to the financial challenges ahead.”

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« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 04:05:02 PM by Ian »

DaveR

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Re: Cutbacks in Conwy County
« on: October 30, 2010, 11:32:18 AM »
Whilst on the subject of cutbacks, I was reading Cllr Mike Priestley's blog, in which he mentioned sponsorship as a possible means of raising revenue for the Council. Given that the public are very keen to pay for things such as memorial benches for loved ones in public parks, I have taken the idea a stage further and put forward this idea to Cllr Priestley:

"You raise the issue of sponsorship - why is more use not made of this? I'm not just talking about businesses here, private individuals (maybe as a tribute to a loved one) could also particpate.

How about a section on the CCBC website, that list various areas in the County where work is required - could be the cost of planting out a flowerbed, planting of a tree, installing a new Shelter or even a general contribution towards a specific park.

Each item has a cost attached to do the work, and businesses/individuals can then contribute the cost of that work in return for being acknowledged as the benefactor, both on the CCBC website and via a small plaque at the site.

I honestly think its a great idea, so why don't we do it? This could be a fantastic source of income to offset the coming cuts."


Let's see what his reply is...  ;)

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Fester

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Re: Cutbacks in Conwy County
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2010, 07:18:25 PM »
Extending and increasing parking charges is a real cop out.

It has nothing to do with cutting back costs, instead it is another disgraceful and greedy swipe at tourism.
The ability of The Three Towns to be credible and preferred shopping destinations is also compromised by this.
It is yet another TAX increase, when the tax burden is becoming unbearable...

I think an external and independant body (such as business consultants) should dictate what the cuts should be.
Thats the real world, and 'Team Conwy' would have sleepless nights during this process..and rightly so.
This would lead to a real clearout of 'dead-wood' middle and senior managers ....plus a sell off of many of the illogical property assets that the Council own.

So much can be done internally at CCBC, without resorting to extorting MORE money from US .... they are being dishonest.


 
Fester...
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Fester

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CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 10:00:18 PM »
Well,  Its started!

The Coalition Government have announced that the core funding for councils will FALL by an average of 9.9% next year.... and by further amounts in the next three years  Until a total of 28% is reached.

The Labour Party have called it devastating.   I think its fantastic.

Because along with it, they have announced that the public will have THE RIGHT to buy businesses owned by the council.  That includes Shops, Pubs and Libraries.
Given that CCBC owns a great many such businesses, I can't wait to wrestle a few of them away from them.

Why does the council need to own pubs????

« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 11:36:12 PM by Fester »
Fester...
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DaveR

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Re: CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 10:13:06 PM »
It's a fair point. For example, CCBC own the Freehold of the Aberconwy Caravan Park on the Morfa in Conwy, which is valued at £1.7m - why not sell it? The Rhos Fynach pub in Rhos On Sea - why not sell it?

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Bellringer

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Re: CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2010, 10:17:54 PM »
The CCBC owning pubs is a revelation to me, what other similar establishments does it own apart from Rhos Fynach in Rhos on Sea?

Fester

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Re: CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2010, 11:43:27 PM »
Also of great interest will be the numerous kiosks which the council own, and let out at peppercorn rents.

Assuming that each council will have a Finance Director who will be most keen to realise the best price for these 'businesses' ..then there should be a vast amount of cash on its way to the council in the coming years.

Makes you wonder why they didn't demand a sensible commercial rate for these leases in the past.  If they had, the council coffers might have been in a better state right now.
Fester...
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Pendragon

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Re: CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2010, 12:37:35 AM »
 *&(  well I never knew that,
Only hindsight has 20/20 vision
Angiegram - A romantic notion derived from the more mundane truth.

Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." -Bob Marley

DaveR

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Re: CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2010, 09:01:28 AM »
CCBC own a lot of property and it's not been terribly well managed in the past, in terms of maximising revenue. Things are improving but there's still a way to go. Really, I believe that the council should only own those assets that are essential to providing public services and everything else should be sold off.

Off the top of my head, other things they own that could be sold off are the former Rhos Harbour Bistro and the Cafe in Happy Valley, Llandudno. Maybe also the Beach Cafe at West Shore, Llandudno.

Ian

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Re: CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2010, 10:07:58 AM »
The real issue - I suspect - is whether the private sector would do a better job. I always remember that the mess next to the Grand is a result of private ownership.
“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.”   ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.

DaveR

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Re: CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2010, 10:54:06 AM »
The private sector does a better job 9 times out of 10. In the 1 out of 10 instance where it doesn't, then the public sector has the power to step in to deal with the problem. In the case of the Pier Pavilion, of course, neither the private or public sector emerges with any glory!

A third way, of course, is for local people to step in and take over these facilities. A group of motivated, community minded, individuals can achieve far more than the dead hand of council bureaucracy. Take the Happy Valley Cafe, Llandudno, as an example. It could be owned by a community group (maybe even the elusive 'Friends of Happy Valley'  ;D ), still run by the Parisellas, but all revenues ploughed back into improving Happy Valley park.

Ian

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Re: CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2010, 11:45:33 AM »
Quote
The private sector does a better job 9 times out of 10

That's a tricky statistic to confirm or deny, but I suppose my concern is that if you look at the overall history of private businesses taking over from government or councils, it isn't one of unalloyed perfection. However, when we're talking local councils, I sometimes think anything must be better...
“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.”   ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.

Merddin Emrys

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Re: CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2010, 12:22:56 PM »
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The real issue - I suspect - is whether the private sector would do a better job. I always remember that the mess next to the Grand is a result of private ownership.

almost everything was built in the first place by the  private sector, trouble is modern generations have failed for various reasons to look after it.

this is interesting about the Pavilion

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DaveR

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Re: CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2010, 06:54:03 PM »
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Up to seven of the 12 public libraries in Conwy could close as the council debates their future.

The council admits the service is one of the worst performing in Wales with a poor range of books, not enough staff and badly maintained buildings.

The options before councillors on Tuesday stress that changes are needed for the service to improve.

One councillor who is against the closures said libraries are the hub of the community and should be kept.

It is not the first time library closures have been suggested in Conwy and a similar decision was delayed in 2007.

A report to the council's cabinet on Tuesday admits the library service is among "the lowest performing in Wales" and that it is not sustainable without "significant investment".

Its problems are due mainly to "a consistent lack of investment" in books, staffing levels and buildings "over a long period of time".

On Tuesday there are three options before councillors, although the first one, to do nothing is "not an option" according to the report.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

    Penrhyn Bay library is a special case because of where it's situated.. it is the heart of the community”

End Quote Myra Wigzell Llandudno Town Councillor

One option would see seven libraries close at Cerrigydrudion, Deganwy, Kinmel Bay, Llandudno Junction, Llanfairfechan, Penmaenmawr and Penrhyn Bay.

Another would see five libraries close at Deganwy, Llandudno Junction, Kinmel Bay, Llanfairfechan and Penrhyn Bay.

There will be a public consultation process before the final decision is taken by councillors.

The money saved would be spent on improving other libraries, including a new one in the Conwy or Llandudno Junction area.

Llandudno town councillor for the Penrhyn ward, Myra Wigzell, is against the closures.

"Penrhyn Bay library is a special case because of where it's situated, it's next to the post office and together they form the hub of the community," she said.

She said it seemed Conwy council had "just looked at a map and seen our library is close to the ones in Llandudno and Colwyn Bay".

"Penrhyn Bay has a great many elderly residents who use the library.

"It's also used by people from Llanrhos and Craigside who find it easier to get to and to park," she added.

DaveR

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Re: CCBC Spending Cutbacks
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2010, 06:59:10 PM »
Going off topic slightly, I see that CCBC wishes to spend £22million to rebuild Ysgol Y Gogarth in Llandudno. It's an excellent facility, certainly, but why does it need to be completely rebuilt and why does it have to cost so much? Can it really be justified if finances are so tight?