Monday, 26 October 2015

Budget proposals for Economy, Transport and Environment in Cambridgeshire

With Cambridgeshire County Council facing a financial challenge of unprecedented levels – details of proposed options to meet the savings have been put forward today (Monday 26 October).

The proposals for Economy, Transport and Environment at Cambridgeshire County Council will be heard at the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee on 3 November and the Economy and Environment Committee on 17 November.

At these Committees, Members will look at the initial ideas for how to help find the £41 million in savings needed this year and over £100 million in the next five years.

The headline proposals are outlined here:

  • Remove funding for School Crossing Patrols to save £171,000 and offer schools and local communities the opportunity to take the function on.
  • Generate income by charging utility companies for the time they spend on the network rather than fine them for staying longer than scheduled
  • Reduce winter maintenance on the highways to save £650,000 - this will reduce the road network treated from 45 per cent to 30 per cent
  • Rising bollards in Cambridge to be replaced by CCTV to save £50,000
  • Withdraw funding from some libraries and seek community assistance to run them this is in addition to reducing opening hours of retained libraries to save £375,000 over two years
  • Removal of the mobile library service to save £160,000 over two years
  • Introduce 24 hour bus lane enforcement
  • Remove non-statutory concessionary fares to save £125,000
  • Create a shared planning service with district councils
  • Reduce funding for Fenland Learning Centres by £90,000
  • Reduce support for bus services by £1.4m over two years to focus funds to support community led services not regular scheduled routes.
  • Increase on street car parking fees in Cambridge by at least 20 per cent to raise over £300,000

These proposals plus others outlined aim to save £6.5m from the Economy, Transport & Environment Services’ budget which is £95m.   There will be some significant impacts on our communities if these changes go through and job cuts to over 50 posts can be expected.

Graham Hughes, Executive Director: Economy, Transport & Environment at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The proposals we are outlining today show just how difficult the decisions facing the County Council are as we attempt to balance our budgets. Reduced Government funding and increasing demands upon us mean we face some very stark choices over the next few months. It has not been an easy process but we have been helped by the feedback we have received from our residents, organisations and partners we work with. It is now for the Councillors to look at these proposals and decide how they wish to move forward.

“After these proposed savings it is worth remembering that the service I lead will still be spending almost £90m on improving roads, tackling rogue traders and dealing with waste as well as delivering cycling projects, providing library services and helping to plan for the county’s future. No one can deny the picture facing Cambridgeshire is one of the most difficult we have ever had to face but we remain determined to do the best we can for our residents and communities.”