Call for views on Newport council shake-up
9:01am Saturday 21st September 2013 in News
A RADICAL vision for Newport council that could see fewer services and staff is being put to residents for their views this Monday.
The Argus previously reported that Newport City Council is facing a possible cut in its budget of £34 million by 2017 – and has laid out a potential roadmap for how services could be shaken-up.
Newport council now wants to hear from residents about what services are important to them and if they have ideas about ways it can save money.
Readers can also send comments on to the Argus which the newspaper will pass on to council officials.
A Newport Matters newssheet warning of changing services will be sent out to residents in Newport on Monday saying the council “cannot afford to carry on doing all of the things it does”.
It explains that while Welsh councils haven't been as hard hit by the UK Government’s programme of austerity as ones in England, that is soon to change.
Chief executive Will Godfrey told the Argus: “We’ve quite deliberately not couched it as a budget thing – this is about trying to engage people in a conversation about what public services need to look like.”
Cllr Bright wrote in Newport matters that he won’t sugarcoat what will happen as “savings or efficiencies”, but said Newport council will likely have to make “cuts” of around £34 million over the next four years.
“All councils in the UK, and Newport is no exception, will have to undergo seismic change over the coming years”, he said.
Newport council is planning to go to a formal consultation on its 2014/15 budget from December 12 but the authority would like to see as many comments as possible before cabinet meets on that date.
In August the council published proposals for how the authority could change by 2017, saying it could have fewer staff, buildings and services in four years time.
Services that the council has to provide by law – such as education and social services – would be prioritised while some that don't would be reduced.
Proposals include leisure services being run by a trust, the city museum and library moving to Newport Centre and some non-statutory services not being provided directly.
Send your comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found on the council’s website www.newport.gov.uk/changing services.
You can also leave comments at the South Wales Argus website, or email us at email@example.com.
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