Mid Wales

Ceredigion council forges ahead with £9.6m savings plan

Councillors in Ceredigion have decided to forge ahead with a plan to save £9.6m in the next financial year.

On Thursday council members decided to back the cabinet's plan which also aims to save £20.85m over the next three years.

Increasing charges for meals at home for the elderly from £3.50 to £5, and closing a day centre in Aberaeron are included in it.

Residents will also have to pay 4.41% more in council tax from April.

Nearly a quarter of the council's 42 members were absent from the meeting where a vote recorded that 24 councillors agreed to support the budget settlement, with one opposing and seven abstentions.

The council will now also take £1.4m from its general balances to ease public service cuts in the county.

Luncheon club

Members decided to raise the county council's tax element by 5% in the next financial year which is the maximum increase the Welsh government has indicated it wanted.

This means the average council tax in Ceredigion will rise by 4.41% once the community council and police precepts have been factored in.

From April, those owning a Band D property will have their council tax increased from £1,205 a year to £1,258.

The council's budget for 2014-15 was cut 5.1% by the Welsh government in October.

Council savings in Ceredigion next year will include:

  • Raising charges for lunch meals at home from £3.50 to £5
  • Saving a further £18,000 by moving adult day services, including a luncheon club, from London House in Aberaeron
  • Closing Borth tourist information centre
  • Saving £2m by raising the pupil-teacher ratio in schools from just under 16-to-one to 17-to-one
  • Reducing the number of mobile libraries from five to four and replacing libraries at New Quay and Tregaron with a mobile one to save the local authority £146,000

The council is negotiating with town councils in Tregaron and New Quay about the possibility of them taking responsibility for the libraries under threat.

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