Mass walk out as Caerphilly council approve £14.5m budget cuts

THERE was a mass walk out by Plaid Cymru councillors at Caerphilly tonight as the authority approved £14.5million of cuts to its budget for 2014/15.

Months of consultation and scrutiny committee meetings came to a head in a heated debate about which services could be saved from the budget proposals.

Caerphilly council had to make savings of £14.53million in 2014/15 as a result of the UK Government austerity measures, with further additional savings of £6.54million for 2015/16 and £7.06million for 2016/17 to be finalised in the future.

A special cabinet meeting took place yesterday afternoon in which the proposals were unanimously recommended for the full council meeting to discuss a couple of hours later.

Many contentious proposals were put forward and discussed including the reduction of council staff’s casual mileage rate, the closure of Caerphilly Leisure Centre’s cafe and cuts to the provision of domestic cleaning services.

Among the proposals to be approved by the council were an increase in council tax of 3.9 per cent for the next financial year, and for the living wage increase to £7.65 per hour to be backdated to November 1, 2013.

But after amendments put forward by Plaid Cymru councillors were rejected by votes, including one by the leader Colin Mann, to discuss senior officers pay, Plaid councillors left the chamber prematurely, leaving the remaining councillors to approve the budget proposals and the council tax increase.

The council’s deputy leader, Keith Reynolds said he was “utterly disgusted” by the mass walkout which he called a “cowardice” act.

Council officers insisted the consultation process for the budget proposals had been thorough and all the views had been taken into consideration.

This, they said, was reflected in the £628,000 proposed savings withdrawn following the consultation process.

These withdrawals included the casual mileage rates reduction from £0.55 to £0.50 – a 50 per cent change in the original proposal of £0.45, which could have saved an extra £125,000.

An increased charge of £0.25 to the Meals on Wheels service was also made rather than the original recommendation of a £1 increase.

Comments (10)

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10:44pm Wed 26 Feb 14

gingertom says...

How can they make out they got no money when they have spent 90 million on Bargoed?
How can they make out they got no money when they have spent 90 million on Bargoed? gingertom
  • Score: 7

10:51pm Wed 26 Feb 14

gingertom says...

It is all about priorities! Keeping toilets open which is vital for everyone's good health, community cafes for the lonely to meet up, cleaners for the vulnerable come way before pay rises for officers, buffets for the cbc so called elite and building a cinema in Bargoed which a cinema should be doing themselves.
It is all about priorities! Keeping toilets open which is vital for everyone's good health, community cafes for the lonely to meet up, cleaners for the vulnerable come way before pay rises for officers, buffets for the cbc so called elite and building a cinema in Bargoed which a cinema should be doing themselves. gingertom
  • Score: 8

8:37am Thu 27 Feb 14

Dai Rear says...

"as a result of the UK Government austerity measures"
"The Government's austerity measures" surely. We've only the one. Or is Caerphilly generally ruled from Caracas?
Having said that the old PC is right; the highly paid clerks called "managers" are too numerous and too well remunerated. As to personal services like cleaners, not too sure about something which for generations would have been done by neighbours and family and as to the café, if it's a viable proposition let a young entrepreneur take it over and pay rent for it., Once it gets going employment would follow. Running cafes like organising a drink in a brewery is not something the public sector's cut out for.
"as a result of the UK Government austerity measures" "The Government's austerity measures" surely. We've only the one. Or is Caerphilly generally ruled from Caracas? Having said that the old PC is right; the highly paid clerks called "managers" are too numerous and too well remunerated. As to personal services like cleaners, not too sure about something which for generations would have been done by neighbours and family and as to the café, if it's a viable proposition let a young entrepreneur take it over and pay rent for it., Once it gets going employment would follow. Running cafes like organising a drink in a brewery is not something the public sector's cut out for. Dai Rear
  • Score: 8

12:46pm Thu 27 Feb 14

DavidReesJ says...

On 19th February 2014, I emailed a letter to the Editor of the Argus, relating to Council Officers Charged with Misconduct in Public Office. The letter referrred to an understanding that the charrge arose over a meeting of Officers of Caerphilly C.B.C.,when a salary increase was agreed for the majority of the top Officers present. In light of the decision of the Avon and Somerset Police, to charge the Chief Executive and his Deputy, I asked "Will any action be taken against the other Officers present who benefited by the salary increase?
My letter asked perhaps the Chief Constable, or his boss, Mr.Ian Johnstone would like to giive a reply. To-date this letter has not appeared in the Argus. I wonder why?
On 19th February 2014, I emailed a letter to the Editor of the Argus, relating to Council Officers Charged with Misconduct in Public Office. The letter referrred to an understanding that the charrge arose over a meeting of Officers of Caerphilly C.B.C.,when a salary increase was agreed for the majority of the top Officers present. In light of the decision of the Avon and Somerset Police, to charge the Chief Executive and his Deputy, I asked "Will any action be taken against the other Officers present who benefited by the salary increase? My letter asked perhaps the Chief Constable, or his boss, Mr.Ian Johnstone would like to giive a reply. To-date this letter has not appeared in the Argus. I wonder why? DavidReesJ
  • Score: 2

1:25pm Thu 27 Feb 14

pass the stilsons luv says...

as we prepare ourselves for a huge council tax rise, and cuts to services, I wonder how much it's costing us to keep 2 suspended CEO's at home, and another covering the post ?
as we prepare ourselves for a huge council tax rise, and cuts to services, I wonder how much it's costing us to keep 2 suspended CEO's at home, and another covering the post ? pass the stilsons luv
  • Score: 5

1:33pm Fri 28 Feb 14

gingertom says...

see:

youtube.com/watch?v=
hSLFeJYIw4E
see: youtube.com/watch?v= hSLFeJYIw4E gingertom
  • Score: -1

1:43pm Fri 28 Feb 14

gingertom says...

I think we should have a brand new set of councillors in caerphilly. The general public are not interested in money being wasted on artwork for villages but more interested in public toilets being kept open. They don’t expect the so called elite to spend taxpayers money on buffets when community cafes are then ear marked for closure. Whenever you go past any of the numerous council buildings you see them lit up like blackpool illuminations only to have street lights shut off in local villages. Cleaners for the vulnerable in caerphilly are far more important than the council offices being kept clean. It strange caerphilly council got no money yet they have spent 90 million in bargoed even to the point of building a cinema when that is the responsibility of the cinema group. SORT OUT YOUR PRIORITIES PLEASE!
I think we should have a brand new set of councillors in caerphilly. The general public are not interested in money being wasted on artwork for villages but more interested in public toilets being kept open. They don’t expect the so called elite to spend taxpayers money on buffets when community cafes are then ear marked for closure. Whenever you go past any of the numerous council buildings you see them lit up like blackpool illuminations only to have street lights shut off in local villages. Cleaners for the vulnerable in caerphilly are far more important than the council offices being kept clean. It strange caerphilly council got no money yet they have spent 90 million in bargoed even to the point of building a cinema when that is the responsibility of the cinema group. SORT OUT YOUR PRIORITIES PLEASE! gingertom
  • Score: -4

2:45pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Realist UK says...

pass the stilsons luv wrote:
as we prepare ourselves for a huge council tax rise, and cuts to services, I wonder how much it's costing us to keep 2 suspended CEO's at home, and another covering the post ?
£20.000 a month is the simple answer. Now that their Head of Legal has also been summonsed make that £30.000 a month. I'm sure the cost will keep rising once this lot are in the dock and start blaming and incriminating others. It's true to say that if Caerphilly Council was Plaid led the fat-cats down the Bay would have been involved several months ago. As it is, they're protecting their own by staying out of it.
[quote][p][bold]pass the stilsons luv[/bold] wrote: as we prepare ourselves for a huge council tax rise, and cuts to services, I wonder how much it's costing us to keep 2 suspended CEO's at home, and another covering the post ?[/p][/quote]£20.000 a month is the simple answer. Now that their Head of Legal has also been summonsed make that £30.000 a month. I'm sure the cost will keep rising once this lot are in the dock and start blaming and incriminating others. It's true to say that if Caerphilly Council was Plaid led the fat-cats down the Bay would have been involved several months ago. As it is, they're protecting their own by staying out of it. Realist UK
  • Score: -2

3:32pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Dai Rear says...

"Cleaners for the vulnerable in caerphilly are far more important " Why? Isn't that what families, friends and neighbours do? PUBLIC services, not personal services.
"Cleaners for the vulnerable in caerphilly are far more important " Why? Isn't that what families, friends and neighbours do? PUBLIC services, not personal services. Dai Rear
  • Score: -1

8:31pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Limestonecowboy says...

Plaid Cymru walk out? they meant to represent constituents - not fit to call themselves Cllrs.
Plaid Cymru walk out? they meant to represent constituents - not fit to call themselves Cllrs. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 1

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