LIVE BLOG: Big Wheel coming back, but cuts could cost Torbay Blue Flags
BUDGET cuts would jeopardise Torbay's Blue Flag beaches, councillors heard this morning.
At the same meeting Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver confirmed that, subject to contract, the Big Wheel will be returning to Torquay in the summer.
Members of Torbay Council were considering ways of saving £10million from the coming year's budget in the latest of a series of meetings.
Proposals include cutting back on beach staff across Torbay, leaving some beaches without management or first aid cover.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Solutions suggested including setting up "Friends" organisations to care for Bay beaches in the same way similar groups work in local parks.
Council executive head Sue Cheriton told the meeting the council would not be able to apply for Blue Flag status for beaches if the cuts were severe.
Cllr Darren Cowell warned that cuts could mean no first aid cover on the beaches, no policing of the dog ban, no 'lost children' service and no support for beach hut users.
However, Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver did confirm that there were no plans to close public toilets.
Summing up, he said adult and children's services were a moral and statutory priority, while residents' and visitor services were discretionary.
He also confirmed that the Torquay seafront Big Wheel would be returning for the summer of 2013, subject to contracts.
Later in the meeting the prospect of cuts to Citizens Advice Bureaux in Torbay was also discussed. The meeting was told that CABs had dealt with 1,400 inquiries from local people in the last year.
Cllr Mike Morey said on Twitter: "£30,000 cuts to CAB. With austerity kicking in, where do the people go for help?"
Liberal Democrat councillors said it was a cut too far and must be reversed. They Tweeted: "It will hurt the poor and disadvantaged the most."
Follow the debate as it happens in the panel below. Use the Twitter hashtag #tcbudget to be part of the story yourself