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Councillors to consider changes to garden waste service

Changes to Poole's garden waste collection service will be considered by councillors as part of the proposals to address the Council's budget position.

A report to a meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday 28 July recommends extending the existing garden waste scheme from 38 to 44 weeks. In addition, the report recommends an annual charge of £37.55 for the service in 2016. This represents an increase of less than 4p per collection.

Cabinet members will also be asked to endorse a move to extend the current high season period for car parking charges to the end of October.

The proposals form part of the Council's response to the Chancellor's Summer Budget announcement and the Government's continued austerity measures.

A report on the Council's financial position currently estimates a funding gap of £5.6m in its budget for 2016/17. The Council as an unprotected part of the public sector has recently been asked by Government to model grant reductions of between 25% and 40%.

Cllr Janet Walton, Leader of the Council, Borough of Poole, said: "It is clear from the Chancellor's Summer Budget announcement that the age of austerity will need to continue and this will have a significant impact on the Council's budget over the next four years.

"To ensure the Council continues to set a financially sustainable budget, we will need to take some key and potentially difficult decisions. However, the Council has a proven track record of effective and prudent financial management and we remain firmly committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our community.

"We will face up to the challenges and will work together in a business-like manner with our team of professional and experienced officers to ensure we get the best possible outcomes for Poole residents."

Cabinet members will also be asked to agree in principle that officers take forward work to consider:
  • a business case for introducing car park charges at a number of parks including Poole Park, Hamworthy Park and Upton House;
  • a proposal to reduce the opening hours of Household Waste and Recycling Centre;
  • proposals to reduce the cost of various bus subsidies.
Cllr May Haines, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Finance, Borough of Poole, said: "We are continuing to look at ways by which we can cut red tape, redesign our services to be even more efficient, and adopt a more commercial approach.

"The Council faces a significant financial challenge so it is vital that we consider every available option and ask our officers to develop business cases for further proposals that will save money or generate more income. It is however important to stress that no decision on any new proposal will be made without further careful consideration."

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