BLOG: Torbay Council begins £10m budget cuts process
THE public gallery at Torquay Town Hall was packed this morning as the depth of the cuts proposed in Torbay Council's budget were laid open to public scrutiny.
Cuts in the adult social care budget were among the first to be discussed as councillors met to try to find ways of saving £10million from their budget for the coming year.
The savings will come through a mixture of service savings, further efficiencies and increases in income.
The debate began with discussions on the personal alarm devices issued to 900 vulnerable local people, allowing them to call for help at the push of a button.
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Councillors considered a scale of charges for the alarms, which are currently provided free.
They also discussed £645,000 of savings from the social care staff budget, which could have implications for frontline and back office staff.
The community safety budget, which includes items such as food hygiene services, faces a 24 per cent cut.
Cllr Matthew James warned that this would mean a complicated restructure, cuts to street wardens and community partnerships and cuts in pollution investigations.
Cllr Gordon Jennings warned that cuts to street wardens would be cuts to "the glue bringing communities together".
You can follow the meeting as it happens through our live blog below. Join in using the Twitter hashtag #tcbudget or add your comments in the box below this story.
The public meetings are:
Friday, January 11, 9.30am, Meadfoot Room, Torquay Town Hall, looking at adult social care, community alarms; adult social care staffing; community safety — review of anti-social behaviour and the private rented housing sector; supporting people.
Tuesday, January 15, 9.30am, Meadfoot Room, Town Hall looking at children's services; business support and commissioning; families — localities: attendance improvement service; home to school transport.
Wednesday, January 16, 9.30am, Meadfoot Room, Town Hall looking at residents' and visitors' services; beach services, children's services, families — housing options; voluntary sector.
The mayor will make his final recommendations to the council meeting on February 6. This will adjourn until February 13 to let all members of the council consider the proposals.
If the proposed budget is approved by a majority of members on February 13, it will be adopted on the night.
Today's meeting closed just after 1pm. Recommendations will form a report to the Overview & Scrutiny meeting on January 24.