NEWPORT CUTS: Councillors’ cash and floral displays could be hit

South Wales Argus: PRUNING BACK? Cutting floral displays are among savings ideas likely to be put to the public in Newport next wee PRUNING BACK? Cutting floral displays are among savings ideas likely to be put to the public in Newport next wee

PROPOSALS to cut allowances for councillors to fund local projects and reducing the number of floral displays are among savings ideas likely to be put to the public in Newport next week.

Yesterday the Argus reported that senior councillors in Newport council will meet on Thursday to consider whether to put 100 savings proposals for the next four years to the public.

The authority needs to £25 million in the next four years – and £10 million in 2014/15 alone.

The long list of proposals includes plans for Newport to save £25,000 by cutting back on members neighbourhood allowances in the next financial year.

The grants are used by councillors to fund individual requests from individuals or organisations within the Newport area. They are one-off in nature and don’t fund any on-going projects.

Gwent Music Support Service, which last year had its funding cut by Newport council, could be asked to pay for Newport council support services, generating £50,000 by 2015.

Council documents say the proposal is unlikely to have an impact on GMSS, which lost its Newport council funding last year, after the service reviewed its provision and became able to provide services while making the contribution.

Officers could seek sponsorship for nursery and floral displays and restrict them to certain sites to reduce spending on them – saving £34,000 by 2015.

The proposal would likely see a fall in the number of floral displays.

The council could try to generate an extra £250,000 a year from commercial waste being deposited at the Newport landfill site from 2016, and £150,000 by 2015 by increasing income from additional waste and highways maintenance contracts.

Newport council may be able to save £1.3 million through changes to services for older people – such as focusing on boosting support in the community, reorganising existing intervention services and other moves.

Newport council is to hold a series of meetings to discuss the budget proposals with members of the public.

They are set to take place on December 16 at Malpas Court’s Library and Drawing Room and December 18 at Newport Stadium’s John Charles Suite.

A further meeting will take place on January 16 in the Castle Room in Newport Centre – not January 15 as stated in yesterday’s Argus.

There will be two time slots each day – noon to 2pm and 5pm to 7pm.

The Argus yesterday printed that the authority needed to save £35 million over four years - this was due to ambiguous figures provided by Newport council.

Comments (19)

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10:58am Sat 7 Dec 13

p stani says...

I thought they had taken up growing weeds,there is a beautiful display of weeds in the old flower bed at the bottom of Waterloo Road,and then all along Cardiff Road on the way to Maesglas and the wall opposite Mcdonalds take a look at the Giant weeds growing out of the walls really classy.
I thought they had taken up growing weeds,there is a beautiful display of weeds in the old flower bed at the bottom of Waterloo Road,and then all along Cardiff Road on the way to Maesglas and the wall opposite Mcdonalds take a look at the Giant weeds growing out of the walls really classy. p stani

11:18am Sat 7 Dec 13

Bobevans says...

I still see no commitment to fundamentally change the way it works to reduce staff numbers and costs and to improve efficiency. Instead it just tinkers round the edges cutting services rather than improve operational efficiency

With radical reform Newport Council should be able to re3duce staff numbers from the current 6,500 odd to 5000 and improve services at the same time

It needs Councillor with strong leadership skills to drive these changes through but with weak councillors that lack the skills to drive major changes though it will not happen. They will take the easy option of axing services putting up charges and putting up council tax

WE should also be looking at cutting the number of councillors and reducing the allowances of the remaining ones by 5% a year for the next 3 years
I still see no commitment to fundamentally change the way it works to reduce staff numbers and costs and to improve efficiency. Instead it just tinkers round the edges cutting services rather than improve operational efficiency With radical reform Newport Council should be able to re3duce staff numbers from the current 6,500 odd to 5000 and improve services at the same time It needs Councillor with strong leadership skills to drive these changes through but with weak councillors that lack the skills to drive major changes though it will not happen. They will take the easy option of axing services putting up charges and putting up council tax WE should also be looking at cutting the number of councillors and reducing the allowances of the remaining ones by 5% a year for the next 3 years Bobevans

11:21am Sat 7 Dec 13

merlin the silure says...

cut the councillors,not the budget !!
cut the councillors,not the budget !! merlin the silure

11:45am Sat 7 Dec 13

Votefornoneoftheabove says...

This is not cutting councillors allowances.

Did you know that if all councillors only decided to take only 50% of their allowances it would save over £2 Million pounds over a full councillors term.

Last year alone the taxpayer helped fund nearly £1 Million pounds in allowances, and as they are allowances and not salaries then it should not be too much of an issue for the councillors to agree to it.

The councillors only stood, " so they tell us" to help Newport and not for a career so lead from the front Councillor Bright and take a £ 20 k allowance this year instead of nearly £50 k

We are all in this together and as Mr Bright says nothing is off the table?
This is not cutting councillors allowances. Did you know that if all councillors only decided to take only 50% of their allowances it would save over £2 Million pounds over a full councillors term. Last year alone the taxpayer helped fund nearly £1 Million pounds in allowances, and as they are allowances and not salaries then it should not be too much of an issue for the councillors to agree to it. The councillors only stood, " so they tell us" to help Newport and not for a career so lead from the front Councillor Bright and take a £ 20 k allowance this year instead of nearly £50 k We are all in this together and as Mr Bright says nothing is off the table? Votefornoneoftheabove

11:54am Sat 7 Dec 13

swnpayne says...

£25000 to keep boat timbers preserved we think of histoery than the new generation investmant
£25000 to keep boat timbers preserved we think of histoery than the new generation investmant swnpayne

12:09pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Woodgnome says...

As Micawber said, "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
It's a pity Blair and Brown's governments didn't heed the advice.
As Micawber said, "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." It's a pity Blair and Brown's governments didn't heed the advice. Woodgnome

1:43pm Sat 7 Dec 13

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

Woodgnome wrote:
As Micawber said, "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
It's a pity Blair and Brown's governments didn't heed the advice.
Not that I disagree with you over Blair and Brown - it's worth pointing out though that Osborne has borrowed more in three years than they did in thirteen.

Just saying.
[quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: As Micawber said, "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." It's a pity Blair and Brown's governments didn't heed the advice.[/p][/quote]Not that I disagree with you over Blair and Brown - it's worth pointing out though that Osborne has borrowed more in three years than they did in thirteen. Just saying. GardenVarietyMushroom

3:07pm Sat 7 Dec 13

On the inside says...

Votefornoneoftheabov
e
wrote:
This is not cutting councillors allowances.

Did you know that if all councillors only decided to take only 50% of their allowances it would save over £2 Million pounds over a full councillors term.

Last year alone the taxpayer helped fund nearly £1 Million pounds in allowances, and as they are allowances and not salaries then it should not be too much of an issue for the councillors to agree to it.

The councillors only stood, " so they tell us" to help Newport and not for a career so lead from the front Councillor Bright and take a £ 20 k allowance this year instead of nearly £50 k

We are all in this together and as Mr Bright says nothing is off the table?
You should not be allowed a vote as you clearly do not have the ability to cast a vote for anyone you do not consider one of your betters. Leaving aside the fact this would be true in your case, your silly plans will mean working people can only ever be represented by the unemployed (who would lose their benefits as they are not available for work) or wealthy Tories as they are the only ones who could afford to stand under your bosses charter.
[quote][p][bold]Votefornoneoftheabov e[/bold] wrote: This is not cutting councillors allowances. Did you know that if all councillors only decided to take only 50% of their allowances it would save over £2 Million pounds over a full councillors term. Last year alone the taxpayer helped fund nearly £1 Million pounds in allowances, and as they are allowances and not salaries then it should not be too much of an issue for the councillors to agree to it. The councillors only stood, " so they tell us" to help Newport and not for a career so lead from the front Councillor Bright and take a £ 20 k allowance this year instead of nearly £50 k We are all in this together and as Mr Bright says nothing is off the table?[/p][/quote]You should not be allowed a vote as you clearly do not have the ability to cast a vote for anyone you do not consider one of your betters. Leaving aside the fact this would be true in your case, your silly plans will mean working people can only ever be represented by the unemployed (who would lose their benefits as they are not available for work) or wealthy Tories as they are the only ones who could afford to stand under your bosses charter. On the inside

4:19pm Sat 7 Dec 13

KarloMarko says...

It is obvious to me that the entire staff of Newport Council should be sacked and only those willing to work eighty hours or more a week on half salary re-employed. This will soon sort the men (and ladies) from the idlers.

Failing this the entire council should be outsourced to a Bulgarian call centre. Or a call box.

These are very tough times as our Etonian h'eros get Britannia plc back on the Gold Standard. Anyone protesting should be sent back to Petrograd. You can't make a good stew without chopping vegetables with a big knife. And a stock cube.
It is obvious to me that the entire staff of Newport Council should be sacked and only those willing to work eighty hours or more a week on half salary re-employed. This will soon sort the men (and ladies) from the idlers. Failing this the entire council should be outsourced to a Bulgarian call centre. Or a call box. These are very tough times as our Etonian h'eros get Britannia plc back on the Gold Standard. Anyone protesting should be sent back to Petrograd. You can't make a good stew without chopping vegetables with a big knife. And a stock cube. KarloMarko

4:52pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

Where have all the flowers gone?
long time passing;
Where have all the small shops gone?
long time ago.

Where have all the Chartists gone?
smashed to pieces every one;
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn...?
Where have all the flowers gone? long time passing; Where have all the small shops gone? long time ago. Where have all the Chartists gone? smashed to pieces every one; When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn...? Katie Re-Registered

8:31pm Sat 7 Dec 13

NCC Watch says...

Reduce Councillors by 50 ,cut agency fees , better support for sick note riders to leave,reduce the 40 pence per mile to the private sector 24 pence traveling expenses ,remove Councillors that work for other R.S.L.s and Newport city council ..............avoids perceived pecuniary interest (boys clubs)
Reduce Councillors by 50 ,cut agency fees , better support for sick note riders to leave,reduce the 40 pence per mile to the private sector 24 pence traveling expenses ,remove Councillors that work for other R.S.L.s and Newport city council ..............avoids perceived pecuniary interest (boys clubs) NCC Watch

8:33pm Sat 7 Dec 13

NCC Watch says...

Reduce Councillors by 50% ,cut agency fee usage , 3 quotes for everything :not blank quotes ,better support for sick note riders to leave,reduce the 40 pence per mile to the private sector 24 pence traveling expenses ,remove Councillors that work for other R.S.L.s and Newport city council ..............avoids perceived pecuniary interest (boys clubs)
Reduce Councillors by 50% ,cut agency fee usage , 3 quotes for everything :not blank quotes ,better support for sick note riders to leave,reduce the 40 pence per mile to the private sector 24 pence traveling expenses ,remove Councillors that work for other R.S.L.s and Newport city council ..............avoids perceived pecuniary interest (boys clubs) NCC Watch

10:51pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Floppy backed says...

NCC Watch wrote:
Reduce Councillors by 50% ,cut agency fee usage , 3 quotes for everything :not blank quotes ,better support for sick note riders to leave,reduce the 40 pence per mile to the private sector 24 pence traveling expenses ,remove Councillors that work for other R.S.L.s and Newport city council ..............avoids perceived pecuniary interest (boys clubs)
Yes perfect!!!
The plant costs could easily go out to sponsorship by local business'. HR, IT, finance, legal etc should be out sourced to companies who know how to run tight ships instead of carrying dead wood. Outsourcing would save an absolute fortune if its done correctly. Dont get me started on long term sick leave only seems to be a problem in the public sector - a professional 'HR' company could weed out these leaches.
[quote][p][bold]NCC Watch[/bold] wrote: Reduce Councillors by 50% ,cut agency fee usage , 3 quotes for everything :not blank quotes ,better support for sick note riders to leave,reduce the 40 pence per mile to the private sector 24 pence traveling expenses ,remove Councillors that work for other R.S.L.s and Newport city council ..............avoids perceived pecuniary interest (boys clubs)[/p][/quote]Yes perfect!!! The plant costs could easily go out to sponsorship by local business'. HR, IT, finance, legal etc should be out sourced to companies who know how to run tight ships instead of carrying dead wood. Outsourcing would save an absolute fortune if its done correctly. Dont get me started on long term sick leave only seems to be a problem in the public sector - a professional 'HR' company could weed out these leaches. Floppy backed

10:53pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Votefornoneoftheabove says...

On the inside wrote:
Votefornoneoftheabov

e
wrote:
This is not cutting councillors allowances.

Did you know that if all councillors only decided to take only 50% of their allowances it would save over £2 Million pounds over a full councillors term.

Last year alone the taxpayer helped fund nearly £1 Million pounds in allowances, and as they are allowances and not salaries then it should not be too much of an issue for the councillors to agree to it.

The councillors only stood, " so they tell us" to help Newport and not for a career so lead from the front Councillor Bright and take a £ 20 k allowance this year instead of nearly £50 k

We are all in this together and as Mr Bright says nothing is off the table?
You should not be allowed a vote as you clearly do not have the ability to cast a vote for anyone you do not consider one of your betters. Leaving aside the fact this would be true in your case, your silly plans will mean working people can only ever be represented by the unemployed (who would lose their benefits as they are not available for work) or wealthy Tories as they are the only ones who could afford to stand under your bosses charter.
OTI:

When you live in the area of Newport that I do in Ringland you tend to class yourself as I am working class.

Do I vote for "wealthy tories" have I ever voted conservative? I certainly have not!

Is my plan "silly"? I don't think so.

If in times of austerity we can honestly justify paying our councillors allowances each year that cost the taxpayers of Newport close to £1 million pounds then I apologise for posting my thoughts.

If we are, "blue sky ,thinking out of the box , nothing is off the table" then this idea should be floated it is my opinion pure and simple.

When the cuts come to local services or the council tax goes up or council workers lose their jobs, just remember that there were other things that could have been done to help the situation out.

I believe that a few Labour councillors are in employment, Chris Evans for instance runs the voice magazine, Rhys Hutchings is still in GLC and touring, Lib Dem councillor Ed Townsend has a job also..

None of the above are either, " unemployed, on benefits or wealthy Tories"

Before I go I would also like to point out what my wonderful parents from Ringland instilled in me as a child, and what I still use today in my adult life.

" No one is better than me and I am no better than anyone else, having a better job, a faster car, nicer holidays, more money in the bank, or a bigger TV does not mean they or I are better" Perhaps you should instil that into your ideology?

All the best when you vote on the cuts in the next few months VFNOTA in 2017, as councillor Hutchings would say, " You knows it makes sense "
[quote][p][bold]On the inside[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Votefornoneoftheabov e[/bold] wrote: This is not cutting councillors allowances. Did you know that if all councillors only decided to take only 50% of their allowances it would save over £2 Million pounds over a full councillors term. Last year alone the taxpayer helped fund nearly £1 Million pounds in allowances, and as they are allowances and not salaries then it should not be too much of an issue for the councillors to agree to it. The councillors only stood, " so they tell us" to help Newport and not for a career so lead from the front Councillor Bright and take a £ 20 k allowance this year instead of nearly £50 k We are all in this together and as Mr Bright says nothing is off the table?[/p][/quote]You should not be allowed a vote as you clearly do not have the ability to cast a vote for anyone you do not consider one of your betters. Leaving aside the fact this would be true in your case, your silly plans will mean working people can only ever be represented by the unemployed (who would lose their benefits as they are not available for work) or wealthy Tories as they are the only ones who could afford to stand under your bosses charter.[/p][/quote]OTI: When you live in the area of Newport that I do in Ringland you tend to class yourself as I am working class. Do I vote for "wealthy tories" have I ever voted conservative? I certainly have not! Is my plan "silly"? I don't think so. If in times of austerity we can honestly justify paying our councillors allowances each year that cost the taxpayers of Newport close to £1 million pounds then I apologise for posting my thoughts. If we are, "blue sky ,thinking out of the box , nothing is off the table" then this idea should be floated it is my opinion pure and simple. When the cuts come to local services or the council tax goes up or council workers lose their jobs, just remember that there were other things that could have been done to help the situation out. I believe that a few Labour councillors are in employment, Chris Evans for instance runs the voice magazine, Rhys Hutchings is still in GLC and touring, Lib Dem councillor Ed Townsend has a job also.. None of the above are either, " unemployed, on benefits or wealthy Tories" Before I go I would also like to point out what my wonderful parents from Ringland instilled in me as a child, and what I still use today in my adult life. " No one is better than me and I am no better than anyone else, having a better job, a faster car, nicer holidays, more money in the bank, or a bigger TV does not mean they or I are better" Perhaps you should instil that into your ideology? All the best when you vote on the cuts in the next few months VFNOTA in 2017, as councillor Hutchings would say, " You knows it makes sense " Votefornoneoftheabove

10:42am Sun 8 Dec 13

Magor says...

Looking at the state of Newport non of the local MPs MEPs AMs Councillors should be getting paid until things improve.
Looking at the state of Newport non of the local MPs MEPs AMs Councillors should be getting paid until things improve. Magor

10:51am Sun 8 Dec 13

Woodgnome says...

GardenVarietyMushroo
m
wrote:
Woodgnome wrote:
As Micawber said, "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
It's a pity Blair and Brown's governments didn't heed the advice.
Not that I disagree with you over Blair and Brown - it's worth pointing out though that Osborne has borrowed more in three years than they did in thirteen.

Just saying.
Extract from Spectator on your point Mush.
"Labour is, as ever, spinning too much. As they know, you need to adjust for inflation to make any meaningful comparison in public spending."
Lesson? We shouldn't rely on cherry picked points.
Just saying.
[quote][p][bold]GardenVarietyMushroo m[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: As Micawber said, "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." It's a pity Blair and Brown's governments didn't heed the advice.[/p][/quote]Not that I disagree with you over Blair and Brown - it's worth pointing out though that Osborne has borrowed more in three years than they did in thirteen. Just saying.[/p][/quote]Extract from Spectator on your point Mush. "Labour is, as ever, spinning too much. As they know, you need to adjust for inflation to make any meaningful comparison in public spending." Lesson? We shouldn't rely on cherry picked points. Just saying. Woodgnome

10:53am Sun 8 Dec 13

regaturn says...

GardenVarietyMushroo
m
wrote:
Woodgnome wrote:
As Micawber said, "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
It's a pity Blair and Brown's governments didn't heed the advice.
Not that I disagree with you over Blair and Brown - it's worth pointing out though that Osborne has borrowed more in three years than they did in thirteen.

Just saying.
Really? Could you tell us the source of her information?
[quote][p][bold]GardenVarietyMushroo m[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: As Micawber said, "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." It's a pity Blair and Brown's governments didn't heed the advice.[/p][/quote]Not that I disagree with you over Blair and Brown - it's worth pointing out though that Osborne has borrowed more in three years than they did in thirteen. Just saying.[/p][/quote]Really? Could you tell us the source of her information? regaturn

6:24pm Sun 8 Dec 13

white white says...

Having a need to save £25 million over 5
Years is bad enough ,but they are lending
£90 million to developers money they
Didn't have in the first place, in other areas
Of wales where the council s makes a pigs ear
Of running it's finances ,the government sends
In experts to sort it out. Newport is now in that
Category ,the counsellors should resign en mass
And let someone who is competent take over ,because
This bunch couldn't organise a p-up. In a brewery
Having a need to save £25 million over 5 Years is bad enough ,but they are lending £90 million to developers money they Didn't have in the first place, in other areas Of wales where the council s makes a pigs ear Of running it's finances ,the government sends In experts to sort it out. Newport is now in that Category ,the counsellors should resign en mass And let someone who is competent take over ,because This bunch couldn't organise a p-up. In a brewery white white

12:39pm Fri 13 Dec 13

_Bryan_ says...

GardenVarietyMushroo
m
wrote:
Woodgnome wrote: As Micawber said, "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." It's a pity Blair and Brown's governments didn't heed the advice.
Not that I disagree with you over Blair and Brown - it's worth pointing out though that Osborne has borrowed more in three years than they did in thirteen. Just saying.
While factually correct, it is worth pointing out that Blair and Brown's borrowing occurred during a period of sustained growth which would typically be expected to lead to an operating surplus in the country's finances.

This surplus would then be available to offset the additional costs arising from recession. Unfortunately, as no surplus was available it was instead necessary for additional funds to be borrowed, exposing the government to interest payments which would otherwise not have been incurred and further increasing the amount of debt generated.

An analogy would be a person who saves a small amount of their wages throughout the year to pay for christmas presents rather than using their overdraft for reckless spending throughout the year and then visiting a "payday" lender during December.
[quote][p][bold]GardenVarietyMushroo m[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: As Micawber said, "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." It's a pity Blair and Brown's governments didn't heed the advice.[/p][/quote]Not that I disagree with you over Blair and Brown - it's worth pointing out though that Osborne has borrowed more in three years than they did in thirteen. Just saying.[/p][/quote]While factually correct, it is worth pointing out that Blair and Brown's borrowing occurred during a period of sustained growth which would typically be expected to lead to an operating surplus in the country's finances. This surplus would then be available to offset the additional costs arising from recession. Unfortunately, as no surplus was available it was instead necessary for additional funds to be borrowed, exposing the government to interest payments which would otherwise not have been incurred and further increasing the amount of debt generated. An analogy would be a person who saves a small amount of their wages throughout the year to pay for christmas presents rather than using their overdraft for reckless spending throughout the year and then visiting a "payday" lender during December. _Bryan_

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