Council looks to slash £196million, but at what cost to Helston area

Council looks to slash £196million, but at what cost to Helston area

Council looks to slash £196million, but at what cost to Helston area

First published in News

On street parking in Helston could be charged for and car parks sold off under new proposals to save money.

Cornwall Council could also stop inspecting all but the highest risk food outlets and businesses in its bid to cut £196 million from its budget over the next four years – despite acknowledging that “this may leave the public exposed to unacceptable risks in respect of food poisoning and unfair trading practices.”

No area of the council’s services is safe, with public health and protection, community safety, health and adult care, and children’s services all coming in for a hit in its 160 page draft of proposed cuts.

One of the biggest changes to Helston could come from county’s free or low income car parks being taken over by the local councils or other |bodies – although the county would keep hold of “strategically important or high income |generation car parks.”

It is not stated which category Helston falls into, but it leaves the potential for the town council to take control. While many could see this as a positive move, there is a sting in the tail in the next proposal – as cabinet members recommend charging for on-street parking “where appropriate”. Helston’s free parking in Meneage Street and Coinagehall Street is highlighted by traders as being of key |importance.

Running of car parks could be handed over to a third party, with the council keeping strategic |control but in a similar way to waste collection – where the contract has been given to Cory Environmental – where a private company would be responsible for day-to-day management. Parking tariffs would be set by the council.

The council hopes to raise more money through “more effective and focused use of existing parking enforcement” and increased charges at off street car parks.

Despite this, it is proposed to reduce the standard of car park “cleansing” in rubbish collections and minimise sweeping and drainage, and surface maintenance.

This would result in a 12 per cent decrease on the current budget – which has already been cut this financial year.

The council admitted it “could mean that response times to address reported incidents will lengthen and frequency of routine maintenance will reduce to just reactive maintenance.”

There are plans to close additional public toilets over the winter, with £150,000 available to save by cutting all council provision between November and March.

There would be no further grants to town and parish councils to help with the maintenance of toilets.

However, the council could save £100,000 annually by simply removing staff colour printers.

It is proposed to take “lollypop” school crossing patrols away from places that have zebra or pelican crossings, although it acknowledges: “Pedestrian safety will not be reduced, but the perception will be that children will be less safe without assistance on formal crossings.”

In winter, the council proposes to reduce precautionary road salting, potentially saving £500,000 a year depending on the extent and duration of conditions.

It would not be possible to continue the county’s National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (due to the necessary level of inspections), visits to prevent the sale of alcohol and tobacco to children may not be carried out, there would be no out-of-hours service to respond to breaches of noise abatement notices, and dog fouling patrols may end, as well as responding to such complaints – although a stray dog collection would continue.

There could be less on-call and trained staff available in emergencies such as flooding and industrial action.

It is acknowledged that fly-tipping could increase as a result of charging for hazardous waste.

In health and adult care, waiting times for assessment could be increased and reductions made in the delivery of services, and there would be a five per cent increase in charges for burials and cremations.

Council staff could be made redundant in a number of departments, with the cuts expected to have a “very detrimental effect” on finance in particular, with 27 per cent (up to 40 full time employees) of the core accountancy and audit workforce potentially losing their jobs.

Cabinet members have put together the document that will go before the full council for a final decision on November 22.

Before then, however, public meetings will take place giving people the chance to voice their opinions and hear more details. In Helston one will be held on Tuesday, October 28 at 6pm, in the Andrew Hall in Church Street.

All the comments and suggestions will be used to produce a revised draft, which will be discussed by the cabinet on November 5 before the full council meeting.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:43am Thu 4 Sep 14

Gill Z Martin says...

This is a complete retrograde move for the 21st century, brought about by financial cuts in government funding to Cornwall Council. It is about time the government cut foreign aid by at least half and started to put their own country in order as a priority, Cornwall should be given a proper rural grant, this would go some way to putting it in line with the funding that London benefits from.

If Cornwall Council start charging for on street parking in Helston it will encourage shoppers to use out of town supermarkets, if footfall drops again in Helston, we may see more shop closures and consequently Cornwall Council will lose revenue anyway from their high income generating car parks.

It is time for a boundary review which would allow a reduction in the amount of Cornwall Councillors, I do not see how with less responsibilities year on year that Cornwall Council will be able to justify the current amount of councillors.
This is a complete retrograde move for the 21st century, brought about by financial cuts in government funding to Cornwall Council. It is about time the government cut foreign aid by at least half and started to put their own country in order as a priority, Cornwall should be given a proper rural grant, this would go some way to putting it in line with the funding that London benefits from. If Cornwall Council start charging for on street parking in Helston it will encourage shoppers to use out of town supermarkets, if footfall drops again in Helston, we may see more shop closures and consequently Cornwall Council will lose revenue anyway from their high income generating car parks. It is time for a boundary review which would allow a reduction in the amount of Cornwall Councillors, I do not see how with less responsibilities year on year that Cornwall Council will be able to justify the current amount of councillors. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 16

8:47am Thu 4 Sep 14

southseabubble says...

Perhaps its time to demand as a nation that we get a bigger return of our EU payments to fund local services in the UK
Reliance on parking income etc. just proves something is very wrong with the current system.
If as a nation we can afford to go to war in Iraq/Afghanistan and our contributions to the Euro bailouts etc how come we cannot afford even basic services , its all a bit bonkers.
Its time we slashed our magnetic benefits to migrants and restricted our health system to foreigners that do not pay a bond to cover medical costs on arrival at any UK hospital.etc etc etc
Perhaps its time to demand as a nation that we get a bigger return of our EU payments to fund local services in the UK Reliance on parking income etc. just proves something is very wrong with the current system. If as a nation we can afford to go to war in Iraq/Afghanistan and our contributions to the Euro bailouts etc how come we cannot afford even basic services , its all a bit bonkers. Its time we slashed our magnetic benefits to migrants and restricted our health system to foreigners that do not pay a bond to cover medical costs on arrival at any UK hospital.etc etc etc southseabubble
  • Score: 11

9:11am Thu 4 Sep 14

krazyitchkatie says...

I'm hoping this is a slightly sensationalist article, but it wouldn't surprise me where a council is concerned. Why is it so difficult to find normal, level-headed, rational, intelligent people to run these affairs?!
I'm hoping this is a slightly sensationalist article, but it wouldn't surprise me where a council is concerned. Why is it so difficult to find normal, level-headed, rational, intelligent people to run these affairs?! krazyitchkatie
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Gill Z Martin says...

krazyitchkatie wrote:
I'm hoping this is a slightly sensationalist article, but it wouldn't surprise me where a council is concerned. Why is it so difficult to find normal, level-headed, rational, intelligent people to run these affairs?!
I do not think the Packet have sensationalised this, the council have a 160 page document outlining the proposed savings. I do not think you can generalise about the people running the council.
[quote][p][bold]krazyitchkatie[/bold] wrote: I'm hoping this is a slightly sensationalist article, but it wouldn't surprise me where a council is concerned. Why is it so difficult to find normal, level-headed, rational, intelligent people to run these affairs?![/p][/quote]I do not think the Packet have sensationalised this, the council have a 160 page document outlining the proposed savings. I do not think you can generalise about the people running the council. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 3

1:19pm Thu 4 Sep 14

krazyitchkatie says...

Gill Z Martin wrote:
krazyitchkatie wrote:
I'm hoping this is a slightly sensationalist article, but it wouldn't surprise me where a council is concerned. Why is it so difficult to find normal, level-headed, rational, intelligent people to run these affairs?!
I do not think the Packet have sensationalised this, the council have a 160 page document outlining the proposed savings. I do not think you can generalise about the people running the council.
Still, fingers crossed. And I'm sure there are plenty of decent people running the council but my point was there are too many who aren't - who are in impossible positions too thanks to those above them, and so on.
[quote][p][bold]Gill Z Martin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]krazyitchkatie[/bold] wrote: I'm hoping this is a slightly sensationalist article, but it wouldn't surprise me where a council is concerned. Why is it so difficult to find normal, level-headed, rational, intelligent people to run these affairs?![/p][/quote]I do not think the Packet have sensationalised this, the council have a 160 page document outlining the proposed savings. I do not think you can generalise about the people running the council.[/p][/quote]Still, fingers crossed. And I'm sure there are plenty of decent people running the council but my point was there are too many who aren't - who are in impossible positions too thanks to those above them, and so on. krazyitchkatie
  • Score: 4

1:38pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Gill Z Martin says...

krazyitchkatie wrote:
Gill Z Martin wrote:
krazyitchkatie wrote:
I'm hoping this is a slightly sensationalist article, but it wouldn't surprise me where a council is concerned. Why is it so difficult to find normal, level-headed, rational, intelligent people to run these affairs?!
I do not think the Packet have sensationalised this, the council have a 160 page document outlining the proposed savings. I do not think you can generalise about the people running the council.
Still, fingers crossed. And I'm sure there are plenty of decent people running the council but my point was there are too many who aren't - who are in impossible positions too thanks to those above them, and so on.
I agree, bearing in mind it is the council themselves that make the decisions who they employ for the high positions such as Chief Executive.
[quote][p][bold]krazyitchkatie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gill Z Martin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]krazyitchkatie[/bold] wrote: I'm hoping this is a slightly sensationalist article, but it wouldn't surprise me where a council is concerned. Why is it so difficult to find normal, level-headed, rational, intelligent people to run these affairs?![/p][/quote]I do not think the Packet have sensationalised this, the council have a 160 page document outlining the proposed savings. I do not think you can generalise about the people running the council.[/p][/quote]Still, fingers crossed. And I'm sure there are plenty of decent people running the council but my point was there are too many who aren't - who are in impossible positions too thanks to those above them, and so on.[/p][/quote]I agree, bearing in mind it is the council themselves that make the decisions who they employ for the high positions such as Chief Executive. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 4
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree