Monmouthshire Engages Budget Engagement 2016/17
Monmouthshire County Council is facing its biggest challenge to reduce costs and make savings.
From April 2016/2017 we have to make savings of £6.319m. We have looked at making savings amounting to £4.176m. We still have a gap of £1.743m to close and we need to continue to look at ways to do this. These are on top of the £5.8m savings we working on to achieve the 2015/2016 budget.
For many years we have tried to continue providing the services that you care about. We have made our desire to maintain locally accessible services as one of our priorities but 2016/2017 is the year we cannot continue to do that.
To continue services in Monmouthshire we need to work in partnership with town and community councils, voluntary organisations and our communities.
We came up with some ideas which we call Mandates to make sure we fulfil our priorities and make savings.
We would like to hear what you think about our ideas so we can shape the services you care about together.
Please have a look at our ideas, to feedback and to share your thoughts please fill out this survey.
We have summarised all of the ideas and below each one the full Mandate and Future Generations Evaluation is available for you to gain more information.
What is a Future Generations Evaluation (FGE)?
The Future Generations Evaluation is a check list to make sure the mandate takes into consideration the impact it will have on our communities and how it fits in with the Future Generations Act and the protected characteristics of the Equalities Act 2010.
Here are our ideas/mandates
Leisure, Tourism, Youth Services and Cultural Services
We need look at the way we deliver the services that make up our tourism, leisure and culture services in a new way. We may have to look into a new delivery model such as a trust which would operate at arm’s length from the council. The trust will be commercially driven via a trading company while ensuring local services are maintained and improved.
MCC Administration Support
We want to look at how business support/admin is delivered across the Monmouthshire County Council in order to identify possible opportunities for rationalisation.
We would like to provide one training service for MCC staff. At the moment we have lots of departments that offer training. One service would also enable external organisations to buy our training from us. We aim to increase income and streamlining existing training services within the local authority.
Monmouthshire County Council IT services
We are looking at different ways to store our digital data so that it is stored in the most efficient and secure location. This will also result in income generation and profits to be shared by authorities.
Community asset transfer of council owned buildings in Monmouthshire
We are looking to transfer council owned buildings for example – The Melville Theatre, Abergavenny and The Drill Hall, Chepstow – to the community so that community ownership can take place. This will enable communities to deliver local services. It will help local communities to gain skills to manage the asset and deliver the service and ensure the service provision is modelled at the local level.
Better use of Section 106 money for our communities
We want to make better use of Section 106 money we receive from companies who build in Monmouthshire. We plan to use the money for more projects that fit in with the needs of communities needs so that more people benefit from the money in their localities.
Selling our legal services and knowledge.
We would like to generate income by charging for legal advice. This service could be used by public service providers such as local housing associations e.g. Melin Homes and other external companies who provide land searches.
Ban on vans and trailers at Household Waste Recycling Centres
We would like our household recycling centres to be used for household waste and recycling only. We have noticed an increasing amount of business waste being dumped at our sites. To prevent this from continuing we are proposing a ban on vans and trailers at our household waste recycling centres.
ke to generate income by charging for legal advice. This service could be used by public service providers such as local housing associations e.g. Melin Homes and other external companies who provide land searches.
Increase in Planning Fees
We are proposing an increase in planning fee applications.
This is happening because the Welsh Government has increased the amount local authorities have to charge for planning applications.
Fees are already waived for people who are registered disabled and applying for planning permission to adapt their homes. (This is a requirement of the mandatory fees set by Welsh Government).
Shared Lodging Housing Scheme
We want people to be able to access more suitable accommodation within their communities more independently. We would like people accommodated in more stable local accommodation. We will working with private landlords and neighbouring authorities to make sure those who need homes get secure and stable homes.
MCC Staff: Reduction of senior posts and roles
We want to make sure we have the right people in the right places and in roles that enable effective delivery of the priorities that you have identified.
Some of these priorities are: promoting excellence in education, protecting the vulnerable, supporting enterprise and maintaining local services.
Reduction in funding to voluntary organisations
We are aiming to reduce the funding we make available to third sector organisations. We will continue to support organisations but they will need to fit in with our priorities.
We are proposing to stop the funding of the Healthy at Home Funding stream to Care and Repair. This service will be able to apply for funding from other sources.
Car parks: Increase charges
We propose to generate extra income by charging businesses to advertise on our public highways.
We want to increase the number of car parking spaces.
More wild flowers and local groups maintaining local grounds.
We propose to continue planting wild flowers on our roundabouts, verges and hedges which will reduce the need for bedding plants.
Linda Vista Gardens, Abergavenny will be maintained by Green Fingers. Green Fingers is a local initiative of The My Day My Life Centre, Abergavenny which supports people to learn new skills.
Reduction in Highways staff and vehicles
We are proposing to reduce staff, with a reduction of one vehicle and fewer materials available for the maintenance of county roads.
Services such as winter maintenance, snow clearing and emergency response will be maintained but staff may be required from the South Wales Trunk Road Agency, grounds maintenance and waste teams to supplement the county highways teams.
MCC Staff: Flexible benefits and employment packages
We would like to work with staff who are interested in accessing the authority’s flexible benefits and employment packages. Examples are negotiating reduced hours, taking unpaid leave or purchasing additional annual leave. If staff did accept some of the benefits this would in turn lead to savings for the authority. It will also support staff to able to have flexible working arrangements.
Business Rate Appeal
We will gain money from The Valuation Office. Officers have appealed to the Valuation Office because the authority has paid business rates on buildings that they owned.
This is a one off payment.
MCC property review
We are considering reducing the number of properties the authority uses. We have identified a number of opportunities to reduce holding costs through the relinquishing of leases, increasing the number of staff based at County Hall and rationalising our depots. Money will be gained through the creation of arm’s length companies that will enable us to let and manage our property assets within a commercial environment and identify additional rental generation opportunities.
Property Service and Facilities Management Review
This proposal will reduce the authority’s expenditure on building maintenance, health and safety, facilities management, procurement and support services by £100,000.
Additional Learning Needs
We would like to review the current specialist provision we provide for children with special educational needs both within Monmouthshire and outside the local authority. We want to ensure that this provision is fit for purpose, meets the needs of our community, is robust and flexible and sustainable, both now and in the future.
We are proposing to close the special needs resource base at Deri View Primary School for pupils aged 4 to 11 years with moderate learning difficulties and social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
Town and Community Councils taking on some services
We would like to work with town and community councils to make sure services such as community hubs and museums continue to exist. This will maintain those local services each area feels to be of greatest importance.
Passenger Transport Collaboration
We would like to work in partnership with Newport City Council passenger transport unit.
This will mean Monmouthshire County Council will provide management resources and support to Newport City Council in the interim. The longer term goal in 2016/17 is to combine the two passenger transport units which will reduce management and administrative costs to both local authorities. A single passenger transport unit will then serve both authorities.
Increase in discretionary fees such as increase in fees for sports club.
Increasing fees and charges by 10%. Last year you told us you were happy to increase fees on things like council tax. This year we have to increase more fees to increase the amount of money available to continue providing services.