People are being encouraged to have their say on draft proposals drawn up by Carmarthenshire County Council as it works towards saving £28million over the next three years.
The council’s Executive Board yesterday agreed for a public consultation to begin, allowing members of the public, businesses and stakeholders the opportunity to make their views known about a series of saving proposals.
The council has warned that there are tough decisions ahead and no easy answers.
Suggestions include ending the Education Welfare Service for schools, making changes to branch libraries and museums, reviewing the planting of town centre roundabouts, making changes to gritting and scheduled sweeping of rural roads, closing the Pendine Outdoor Education Centre and a review of household waste recycling centres.
People can give their feedback by completing a budget consultation survey online on the council’s website www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales.
Carmarthenshire, like other councils in Wales, has faced annual reductions in its funding from Welsh Government year on year whilst having to meet rising costs and increasing demands for services.
To set a balanced budget, the council expects to have to deliver nearly £10million of savings in the next year alone.
Councillors will meet in February to discuss the saving proposals and public feedback before setting the budget and Council Tax for 2019-20.
Internally, council staff have been told to make £5.5million of savings by 2020.
Executive Board discussed the council’s medium term financial plan at its meeting yesterday (November 19, 2018).
Cllr David Jenkins, Executive Board Member for Resources, said: “Whilst the headline provisional settlement was better than this council had forecast, it was a reduction on the current year’s settlement. When inflationary factors, demographic and demand changes are considered there is a significant negative impact on the council’s resources.
“This medium-term financial plan will form the basis of our budget consultation over the coming months. This will ensure that essential services can still be delivered whilst maintaining Council Tax at a reasonable level.”
He added: “Our reserves will be used to support our capital programme and sustain future growth in the county.”