By Dominic Williams | News Editor
A post-pandemic budget has been proposed to boost Cardiff and safeguard vital services. The multi-million, post-pandemic recovery budget has been outlined to help create new jobs, deliver new council homes, build better schools and safeguard vital public services. This post-pandemic budget has been proposed and will go towards the city’s full council for approval on March 4.
These proposals are part of the 2021/22 budget report and will see millions spent helping to get the city up and running again as it looks to recover from the pandemic.
The five year budget announced by Cardiff Council is set to invest £378m in social housing including new council homes. £251m on the new school builds, £234m in economic development initiatives, including the new arena, the international sports village and the Atlantic Wharf redevelopment.
Not only this but, £61m to develop cycle routes and improve transport infrastructure and active travel routes. £54.7 investment in existing school infrastructure, £41.8m for disabled adaptations to help people continue to live in their homes, £41m investment in highway infrastructure, £32.7m for neighbourhood improvements and £25m for green energy sustainability.
Furthermore the budget proposes £18m to support recycling and build a new recycling facility in the north of the city, £18m to address flooding and coastal erosion, £9.7m investment in parks and playgrounds. £4.3m investment in children’s respite provision and accommodation for Looked After Children. £3.2m investment in youth and wellbeing hubs and finally the Council will also provide support for its One Planet strategy to tackle climate change, making Cardiff a greener and cleaner place to live.
Cabinet member for Finance, Cllr Chris Weaver, said: ‘’This council has always had high ambitions for our city. We always want the best for our residents and we are determined to ensure Cardiff makes a quick recovery from the effects of the pandemic.’’
‘’This will involve bringing together and supporting a broad range of measures designed to help renew Cardiff, delivering an economic landscape where jobs can be created as we recover after this incredibly difficult year. We believe our budget proposals set a clear route out of the pandemic which can benefit who lives here.’’
The Council’s Cabinet proposes bridging the £15.594m funding gap in two ways. These are: realising £10.244m in efficiency savings and raising council tax by 3.5% raising £5.35m.
Cllr Weaver, added: “Most of the money the council receives (72%) comes via grants from Welsh Government. The remaining 28% comes from Council Tax. The majority of our budget – around two thirds or 66% is spent on running schools and social services. Without council tax many of the other important services we deliver, services which have proven so valuable throughout the pandemic could be lost or face severe cuts.
While going onto say: ‘’ Anyone who is struggling to pay and is eligible will of course have the opportunity to access support through the Council Tax reduction scheme.’’
As mentioned earlier, The proposals are part of the 2021/22 budget report which will go to Cabinet for approval on Thursday, February 25. Once agreed, Full Council will vote on the budget at a meeting on March 4.