Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CWNEWS to 80360 or email us »
Cutbacks to hit play schemes and waste
11:07am Wednesday 20th February 2013 in News
SAVINGS of almost £1million will be made around Chelmsford over the next 12 months after the city’s council agreed the budget.
The savings – of £970,000 – will include cutting play schemes for Easter and summer holidays by 25 per cent and also reducing the resources for waste collection and parks and green space management.
The budget proposal was not supported by the Lib Dem group.
Andrew Sosin, shadow cabinet member for finance, said: “The 25 per cent decrease in the play scheme budget we feel will lead to disappointment to children and families who use the services.
“We are also concerned about the park services reductions which could lead to rubbish and dog fouling not being cleaned up quickly.”
Councillors met at Central Baptist Church where they voted through the 2013/14 budget proposal put forward to them by the authority’s cabinet.
With the Government grant being £685,000 lower than 2012/13, finance bosses at the council have identified major service savings which will be made during the year.
John Galley, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: “This council has been continuing to make savings where possible.
“This council has developed a reputation of living within its means which I want to see continue.
“We are in a stronger financial position than many other local authority’s and I strongly believe that our taking in of this budget will keep us prudent.”
The budget also included a council tax rise for Chelmsford residents which will see an increase of £3.32 over the year, equating to about 6p a week.
Council staff will also receive a one-off pay rise of 1.25 per cent.
Part of the budget will see money made available to invest in improvements at the Chelmsford Athletics Centre, Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre, Hylands House and the South Woodham Information Centre.