Bridgend Council 2019-20 budget consultation results revealed

Bridgend Council’s Cabinet is due to discuss the results of the annual “Shaping Bridgend’s Future” consultation next week (pdf).

The budget for 2019-20 is likely to be introduced in February 2019 and the consultation is supposed to help officers decide where to cut and where not to based on public demands. In total, 5,288 people took part in one way or another – almost doubling from last year.

A summary of the key findings are as follows, though the full report is available here (pdf):

  • 48% said they were unwilling to pay more than the expected 4.9% increase in Council Tax next year; 17% were willing to pay an additional 1% (5.9%) and another 35% were willing to pay more than an additional 1%.
  • Schools, elderly social care and services for the disabled were the services the public wanted to see protected from cuts. 66% opposed any cuts to day centres for the elderly and disabled.
  • Libraries, the arts, sports and recycling/waste were the services people wouldn’t mind seeing cuts to – though people were divided 50:50 on whether to maintain leisure services or cut back/close things like leisure centres, libraries, theatres and swimming pools.
  • 60% of people would be happy to pay more to use parks/sports/leisure facilities.
  • 79% said blue badge holders should pay for parking, though they were more divided as to whether they should pay the full fee or a reduced rate.
  • 48% supported cutting free nursery provision to 15 hours a week (though the Welsh Government are introducing free 30 hours a week childcare for working parents next year).
  • 48% supported introducing charges for shopmobility and 47% supported cutting post-16 home-school transport.
  • People were evenly split on whether BCBC should withdraw all bus subsidies (though slightly more people were against than for). 46% agreed and 40% disagreed on the possible closure of Bridgend Bus Station.
  • 42