Blaenau Gwent could lose up to 160 jobs as council bids to save £10m

South Wales Argus: Blaenau Gwent could lose up to 160 jobs as council bids to save £10m Blaenau Gwent could lose up to 160 jobs as council bids to save £10m

BLAENAU Gwent council is expected to announce job cuts and reductions in services today as it attempts to save £10 million for 2014/15.

At a special meeting of the council this morning, the council will decide on the phase two and three savings proposals put forward by the chief finance officer yesterday (wed) at a special joint scrutiny committee.

The proposed budget cuts include a minimum of 164 job losses across services, a Meals on Wheels price hike, decreased street lighting and terminating the grants and subscriptions budgets which could affect sports organisations, residents associations, allotments and churches in the area.

A special meeting of the council today (Thurs) will decide which of these will go ahead.

The £10 million deficit needs to be addressed in order to balance the 2014/15 revenue budget.

At the scrutiny meeting yesterday, members discussed and argued about where the axe should fall.

There were disagreements between the majority Labour party councillors and minority group Independents about the proposals, with independent cllr Nigel Daniels saying the committee was making decisions 'blind' and were not properly considering how cuts would affect residents in the borough.

He added he did not know how sports groups would survive if cuts to grounds maintenance go ahead, as they could find themselves forced to pay for maintenance themselves.

Proposed cuts being considered tomorrow are; a minimum of 164 posts to go including homecare workers, which is expected to save £600,000 rather than the £700,000 saving initially estimated; losing five jobs from environmental services staff saving £56,000, getting rid of four seasonal grasscutters at local cemeteries saving £58,000; stopping or reducing local, county and allotment grants saving up to £12,000; reduction in mayoral and civic hospitality totalling £18,000; decreasing grounds maintenance including grass cutting and sports land maintenance saving £500,000; losing four jobs in the street lighting section saving £151,000; turning off lights at 9pm until 6.30am on principal roads saving £30,000; increasing Meals on Wheels from £2.40 a meal up to a maximum £3.90; closing five public toilets saving £36,000,

However, sources at the council said the changes to street lighting are unlikely to go ahead, and while Meals on Wheels is likely to go up, it will probably not be up to the maximum £3.90.

It also includes the closure of Nantyglo Leisure Centre on December 24, which will save the council £327,350.

Leader of the council Hedley McCarthy said: “This is not a situation particular to Blaenau Gwent – councils across Wales are facing the same problems following cuts from the Welsh Government.

“We are putting forward a package which we believe will sustain the most important frontline services.”

Comments (8)

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7:16am Thu 19 Dec 13

scraptheWAG says...

GET IN THERE as i suspected stories of cuts to meals on wheels and other front line services whilst the vast waste and huge feather bedding management structure goes untouched.

under labour council tax doubled where did all this money go? anyone
GET IN THERE as i suspected stories of cuts to meals on wheels and other front line services whilst the vast waste and huge feather bedding management structure goes untouched. under labour council tax doubled where did all this money go? anyone scraptheWAG

7:43am Thu 19 Dec 13

scraptheWAG says...

I even see they made the tax payers alliance rich list

http://www.walesonli
ne.co.uk/news/local-
news/blaenau-gwent-c
ouncil-executives-na
med-1847636

I suppose they have to pay top salaries up the valleys to compete with all the other top paying jobs in the area!! I don't suppose we would even mind if he was running a successful business in a competitive market place.
I even see they made the tax payers alliance rich list http://www.walesonli ne.co.uk/news/local- news/blaenau-gwent-c ouncil-executives-na med-1847636 I suppose they have to pay top salaries up the valleys to compete with all the other top paying jobs in the area!! I don't suppose we would even mind if he was running a successful business in a competitive market place. scraptheWAG

8:46am Thu 19 Dec 13

areth81 says...

Putting a stop to this fairy tale project in Ebbw vale will help. Who the hell wants a lift to take to the Works site. If you are visiting the site you will take the car . How about starting with all the hangers on in the council offices, start reducing those along with councillors who do absolutely nothing and I can name quite a few in our ward. I didn't they were councillors until election time when they knocked on doors.
The sooner this authority is managed by the Welsh office the better. This leader Mr Headless Mcarthy hasn't got a clue.
Putting a stop to this fairy tale project in Ebbw vale will help. Who the hell wants a lift to take to the Works site. If you are visiting the site you will take the car . How about starting with all the hangers on in the council offices, start reducing those along with councillors who do absolutely nothing and I can name quite a few in our ward. I didn't they were councillors until election time when they knocked on doors. The sooner this authority is managed by the Welsh office the better. This leader Mr Headless Mcarthy hasn't got a clue. areth81

8:53am Thu 19 Dec 13

varteg1 says...

A good idea would be to reduce the top heavy lot in the admin offices and take on WORKING staff to do repairs and refurbs on all the properties, roads etc that once upon a time was the major remit of the Council.
Why so many are required to do so little, except of course, deliberately generated so called 'work' which is little more than paper shuffling from desk to desk, office to office and between the Council and the Assembly is not just a matter kf wonderment but more importantly, of serious financial concern to those paying for it all. Us the tax and ratepayers.
A good idea would be to reduce the top heavy lot in the admin offices and take on WORKING staff to do repairs and refurbs on all the properties, roads etc that once upon a time was the major remit of the Council. Why so many are required to do so little, except of course, deliberately generated so called 'work' which is little more than paper shuffling from desk to desk, office to office and between the Council and the Assembly is not just a matter kf wonderment but more importantly, of serious financial concern to those paying for it all. Us the tax and ratepayers. varteg1

11:31am Thu 19 Dec 13

blackandamber says...

Didn't see any councillors on the list.
Didn't see any councillors on the list. blackandamber

6:31pm Thu 19 Dec 13

varteg1 says...

A further point.... closing public conveniences.... I hope that if caught short, as I often am due to my age and small problems down below, with no toilets readily available, I may be forced to use a doorway etc for relief.

I hope when closing the public places they also remove the law on urinating in a 'public' place, and at the same time making sure that parking is made available at the remaining public toilets or that parking tickets will not be issued for anyone urgently requiring to use the WC, who would by necessity park on double yellow lines.
A further point.... closing public conveniences.... I hope that if caught short, as I often am due to my age and small problems down below, with no toilets readily available, I may be forced to use a doorway etc for relief. I hope when closing the public places they also remove the law on urinating in a 'public' place, and at the same time making sure that parking is made available at the remaining public toilets or that parking tickets will not be issued for anyone urgently requiring to use the WC, who would by necessity park on double yellow lines. varteg1

6:50pm Thu 19 Dec 13

varteg1 says...

ps....but I seriously doubt such relaxation will be tolerated...so I won't hold my breath...nor my water if caught short.
ps....but I seriously doubt such relaxation will be tolerated...so I won't hold my breath...nor my water if caught short. varteg1

8:40pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Limestonecowboy says...

One idea could to to cut staff salaries being the highest paid in Wales.
One idea could to to cut staff salaries being the highest paid in Wales. Limestonecowboy

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