A NEW waste collection service model for Ceredigion has been approved by the Cabinet at its meeting on 27 March 2018.
The new service will see a continuation of weekly food waste and the clear bag system for mixed recyclables. The new service will also see the introduction of kerbside glass collections which, along with residual waste, will be collected every three weeks.
The new service takes into consideration feedback received including that from a public consultation process and following a successful trial of glass collections in the Cardigan and Penparc areas.
Cabinet member responsible for Technical Services, Councillor Ray Quant MBE said, “It’s clear that most residents value glass collection from their homes; the Cabinet decision makes this a reality across the county for the first time. This is an example of Caru Ceredigion at work with the Council and the public playing their part for the benefit of all.”
Providing services that encourage and facilitate positive waste behaviours has multiple benefits. As well as being better for the environment, by reducing the amount of waste taken to landfill, this also reduces unnecessary costs and helps keep Ceredigion clean. The new service also looks to improve food waste collection by providing food waste caddy liners free of charge. These liners will be distributed as the Council rolls out the new service. In the meantime residents can collect rolls of free food waste caddy liners from the Council’s cash offices and libraries.
Councillor Quant continued, “Analysis of the black bin waste that goes to land-fill showed that 50% of the content could have been recycled. Ceredigion is leading Wales when it comes to recycling but this shows that we can improve further still. Moving to a three-weekly black bin collection will encourage residents to think further about what can be recycled and could reduce the amount thrown in landfill-bound black bins.”
The vehicles required to deliver the new service will now be procured and further work undertaken on the development of a detailed implementation plan. It is envisaged that the new service will be introduced during Spring 2019.
Council tax reduction supports people on low incomes
A COUNCIL Tax Reduction Scheme is in place to help people who are on a low income. The council administers the scheme on behalf of the Welsh Government for people who are liable to pay Council Tax and who live in Ceredigion. With the recent decision to raise Council Tax by 7%, residents on low incomes are being urged to find out if they are entitled to some help towards paying their Council Tax.
People can be eligible for the reduction if they are on a low income, working or unemployed, cannot work because of illness, retired or are caring for someone. The amount of the reduction depends on a person’s circumstances and how much Council Tax they need to pay.
Councillor Gareth Lloyd is the Cabinet member responsible for Financial Services. He said, “We made the difficult decision to raise Council Tax by 7% to reduce the amount of cuts we have to make to council services. The reality is that the council is getting less money from the Welsh Government at a time when costs and demand for services are rising.”
“We want to urge anyone who is on a low income to consider if they are eligible for Council Tax Reduction. Tax increases can add pressure onto people’s budgets, and although this increase is vital to keep quality services in Ceredigion, we want to make sure that anyone who is eligible for help gets it.”
For more information on eligibility and how to claim council tax reduction, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01970 633 252.
7% council tax increase to protect education funding
THE COUNCIL TAX in Ceredigion for 2019-2020 will increase by 7%. The increase was agreed by councillors to reduce the impact of cuts to the Council’s budget and, in particular, to protect education spending. The decision was made in a Council meeting on 21 February 2019.
2% of the 7% increase will be used to protect education spending. Schools budgets have been under severe stress after years of needing to make savings. Costs have increased yet again following the agreement of new teachers’ salary increases together with increased pension contributions. This extra 2% uplift will enable school budgets to be kept flat.
The council tax rate increase is set by three key components, the County Council’s tax, the precept of Town and Community Councils and the Police precept. Increases set by the Police and Town and Community Councils result in a combined increase of 7.56%.
Councillor Ellen ap Leader of the Council, said, “We had no option but to ask Council to increase Council Tax by 7% in order to reduce the impact of the cuts we have had to make across council budgets. A successful Ceredigion in the future needs well-funded and well run schools. We want to invest in the future of our children and our county.”
“The reality is that the council is getting less money from the Welsh Government at a time when costs and demand for services are rising. The uplift of teachers’ salaries and pensions has not been fully funded by Welsh Government to date. If council tax had not increased, we would have to make deeper cuts.”
In 2018-2019, the average Council Tax Band D property was £1,226.48. The increase means that the same property will pay £1,312.33 in 2019-2020. The council’s budget has been cut by £39m or 25% in the last seven years. The Council will still need to save another £6m in the coming financial year.
Information management policies updated to improve security
THREE key information management policies have been updated by Ceredigion County Council. The policies were updated because of new laws and the need make sure that they are effective in a changing technological environment.
The updated policies were approved by the council’s Cabinet in a meeting on 19 February 2019.
The three policies that have been reviewed are:
· Data Protection/GDPR Policy
· Information Security Policy
· Information and Records Management Policy
The Deputy Leader of Ceredigion County Council and Cabinet member responsible for Governance, Councillor Ray Quant MBE said, “The council needs to keep information and data to carry out the many service we provide. Because of this we have to make sure we’re up to date on data and information protections laws. This decision means that we have approved the hard work done to update the policies and make sure that they are fit for use.”
The policies are essential to manage digital and paper records of the council.
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