Environmental budget proposals taken off the table

162 days ago

Several budget proposals which could have impacted frontline environmental services have been taken off the table by Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board.

Cllr Hazel Evans, Executive Board Member for Environment, said she was delighted that her colleagues had agreed to remove some of the most hard-hitting saving proposals from the budget report it has recommended to Full Council.

It means there will not be any reduction in winter gritting operations, a proposal that would have saved the authority £32,000 a year.

Cllr Evans said that as well as reflecting the overwhelming public opinion, gathered as part of the recent budget consultation exercise, the decision to save on gritting services could have impacted on public safety.

The level of savings originally proposed for rural road sweeping has also been revised following public feedback, meaning the proposed budget reduction is now only £100,000 - re-establishing £186,000 of the budget  - with priority to be given to known problem areas.

An additional £160,000 has been put into the budget to limit any car parking increases across the county, in support of the local economy. It also means less of a knock-on effect on other transport services, such as road repairs and rural bus routes which are subsidised from the revenue generated from car parking fees.

Finally, the council has secured a £4.5million grant over three years for highway resurfacing, compensating for the proposed budget reduction in this area.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Evans said: “I’m sure this news will be welcomed by many people. It is always difficult to balance a budget but we said we would listen to the views of local people, and we have. I am pleased my colleagues on the Executive Board have supported these changes to the proposals, which means there will be less impact on services that people really care about.”

Full Council will meet to discuss and agree the 2019-20 budget on February 20.