South East Wales

Nearly 600 Cardiff council posts face axe and council tax could rise by 5%

City Hall in Cardiff Image copyright Lewis Clarke/Geograph
Image caption Cardiff council's cabinet is due to meet next week to decide on the budget

Nearly 600 posts could go and council tax may rise by 5% as Wales' largest authority looks to plug a £41m budget shortfall in 2015/16.

Cardiff council's cabinet outlined its proposals after a public consultation.

Other cuts include reducing the senior management team by a third, cutting £1.1m from youth services and offloading play centres.

The drug and alcohol counselling service could become volunteer-led but seven libraries no longer face closure.

Cardiff council leader Phil Bale said it was becoming impossible for the council to continue delivering services as they are.

"We have been heartened by the many groups that have come forward offering to volunteer and to help provide services in different ways in the future.

"But there's no getting away from the fact that austerity is driving us down a dark and miserable path that no one would choose to travel," he said.

Cardiff council employs around 10,000 people, excluding teachers, of which there are about 6,000.

In total, 587 posts are at risk but the council hopes that more than 200 jobs could be transferred to other providers who take on services.

The cabinet will review the budget on 19 February before going to a vote at full council on 26 February.

Steve Belcher, south Wales regional organiser for union Unison said the job cuts were a "person catastrophe".

Proposed savings

  • Libraries - initial plans to save £283,000 by cutting funding to seven branches have been removed
  • Youth services - £1.1m saving but the council will continue to support the delivery of youth provision
  • Play services - play-related activities would be provided by other organisations on various sites with the council no longer managing or staffing play centres
  • Parks - savings planned have been reduced by £30,000
  • Day centres - the original £800,000 savings have been cut by half with Gabalfa, Fairwater, Llanrumney and Ely centres closing over a year
  • Cardiff Alcohol and Drug Team - a saving of £218,000 with a one-off fund given to develop the volunteer aspect of the service

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