Telford & Wrekin Council has published a package of key changes to its budget following an extensive public consultation on proposals to make a £30m budget saving.
The council has spent a month consulting on a range of planned changes to how frontline services are delivered and has now amended its original plans to take account of the feedback received during this consultation.
These changes are possible because of a higher council tax increase than initially assumed by the Council, which will make up for the abolition of “council tax freeze grants” that used to be paid by the Government
The increase in council tax above the 2 per cent figure assumed by the Government is in response to the majority of people who responded to the consultation supporting an increase in council tax of either 3.2 per cent or 3.9 per cent.
Key amendments to the proposals originally published at the beginning of January include:
• Reducing a proposed saving at Newport Library by £65,000. This will ensure that a Council First Point facility remains in Newport as well as a self service library.
• Reviewing a proposed reduction in the opening hours at the Town Park Visitor Centre and the Ice Rink
• Reversing the proposed cuts to the enhanced winter gritting programme
• Putting on hold plans to cut transport for Age UK by £50,000Reducing the planned environmental maintenance savings by £100,000
• An extra £200,000 to be spent on children’s safeguarding to reflect increasing demands on the service
• Reversing a planned cut of £67,570 to the Creative Arts Service which provides support to children and adults
Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Finance and Service Delivery, said: “The Council has been actively working with partner organisations to try and find solutions to minimise the impact wherever possible.
“We have already announced that Hadley, Dawley and Newport libraries will be delivered in a different way which will still enable savings to be made.
“The list of key changes to the original budget proposals demonstrates that we have held a meaningful consultation and we have listened to what both our Scutiny Committee and local residents have said.
“As a result, we have changed some of our plans as far as we are able to in the light of yet another damaging cut to the grant that we receive from Government.”
The full list of changes to the original budget proposals are in a report that will go before the council’s Cabinet on February 25.