BUDGET 2013: Weekly bin collections retained, street cleaning protected - discussion in public for b
Weekly bin collections retained, street cleaning protected – discussion in public for budget
Proposals to protect many of Bath & North East Somerset Council's priority frontline public services, like weekly bin collections, street cleaning and highways maintenance will be discussed in public by the Planning, Transport, and Environment Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel on Tuesday 13th November 2012.
The Place service plan is the second of four reports which set out the organisation's financial position and how services will be provided over the next four years.
Becoming more efficient
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
In light of rising demand for our services, higher costs, and public expenditure cuts that are unparalleled since the Second World War, the Council is making financial efficiencies in the way in which day-to-day services are run to help protect priority frontline services as much as we can. These include:
- Using the latest technology to speed-up the process for pothole repairs meaning fewer return visits to the site;
- Introducing resident only permits at our Recycling Centres to reduce our exposure to Landfill Tax charges;
- Making some services self-financing, like the Victoria Art Gallery through charging customers and introducing a voluntary Tourism Levy to help support an increase in visitor numbers;
- Negotiating a substantial reduction in our rental costs for Bath Central Library.
The Council is very clear that it looks first at doing things differently before considering frontline service reductions. This includes streamlining services such as Public Protection and Pest Control.
Making investments for our future
By making back office savings, raising income, and other efficiencies, the Council is able to make investments that will improve our services in the long-term for the benefit of local people. For example:
- A total of £27 million with Government support continuing the overhaul of Bath's transport infrastructure with expanded Park & Ride services that will help reduce congestion in the city centre, better bus routes, with real-time information, and improved signage directing traffic more efficiently;
- Nearly £4.9 million in 2013/14 on a combination of road surface improvements and safety schemes. The commitment on the Rossiter Road scheme continues;
- A total of £1.29 million to restore Victoria Bridge for use by people who use bicycles and on foot;
- £1 million to develop the Roman Baths to ensure it remains one of our area's best tourist attractions and maximise the operating surplus to reinvest in frontline services;
- £500,000 on cycle routes across the district to make sustainable transport a safer, more viable option than private car;
- Over £300,000 in 2013/14 to continue work for 20 mph zones in residential areas;
- £300,000 for Odd Down Sports Hub and off-road cycle track;
- £225,000 in 2013/14 to improve the equipment in our playgrounds with further investment proposed over coming years;
Saving money and protecting day to day services
The extremely challenging set of financial circumstances that the Council faces means that we must do things differently and prioritise many of the services that we provide.
- Bin collections and waste; weekly collections of waste and kerbside recycling are proposed to be maintained. Confirmation of Government funding to support this is expected. Our three Recycling Centres remain open, although opening times at some of these will be adjusted to reflect low use at some parts of the week;
- Street Cleaning; significant investment over recent years has increased the range of state-of-the-art machinery available to our Neighbourhood Teams to keep the streets clean more effectively and efficiently, which includes new mechanical sweepers. No reductions in funding or the number of street cleaners we employ are planned as we seek to maintain our high standards.
From 2014/15, we are proposing to invest money into improving a smaller number of public conveniences – these ideas are at an early stage and no decision has been taken about which facilities might be sold to fund these improvements.
- Parking Charges; It is proposed that charges in all Bath and Keynsham Car Parks will be frozen for a third year in a row, although there may be changes to some aspects of our parking policy, for example removing half hour parking tariffs in Bath where currently available.
We are proposing to introduce car parking charges in all off-street car parks that are currently free. This is in order to cover the cost of maintaining those car parks and parking enforcement across the wider community. It is anticipated that the charges will be a similar level to those in Keynsham.
Communities affected by this change will be consulted including traders and town/ parish councils.
- Libraries; Our library branches are important to local people. Therefore, all eight libraries will remain open with the support of our emerging Community Library Programme that will be developed to encourage more local people to play a part in running their library. We already have 25 people expressing an interest in running the new £170,000 Paulton Library Community Hub.
This Programme will also develop a series of pilots to test opportunities to provide small, community based services where libraries are not currently available, like villages. These may provide pick-up and drop-off services for books and other library services.
To enable us to provide the library service that local people tell us they want, we propose adjusting the frequency and length of stopovers of the Mobile Library Service in the communities that it currently serves.
Now have your say…
Any resident or local organisation can have their say about the budget by:
- Giving your view at www.bathnes.gov.uk/budgetview or writing to Resources Team, 3rd Floor, Guildhall, Bath, BA1 5AW;
- Attending the public meeting giving two working days' notice to the Council via Democratic Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01225 394435.
The full report can be found here: http://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=462&MId=3704&Ver=4
For all the latest news from the Council subscribe to its Twitter Feed: www.twitter.com/bathnes