The next phase of a one million pound face lift for Tropical World in Leeds was approved today.
The city council gave the go ahead for a further 5 hundred thousand pounds to be spent on refurbishing the wildlife visitor attraction. Areas which will now be revamped include the reptile enclosure and the aquarium.
Free parking on Sundays and evenings in Leeds could be scrapped. The council will decide today if to introduce charges which it's thought would generate an extra 2 hundred thousand pounds a year. Leeds is currently one of only 3 cities offering free off peak parking.
A charity that works with some of the poorest people in Leeds says it is worried that a further £55m of budget cuts at Leeds City Council will affect some of the most needy people in the city's communities. Mark Law from Barca says they will hit low earners and lone parents, among others.
The leader of Leeds City Council says this year's budget is the hardest one he was worked on. Councillor Keith Wakefield says some of the decisions about reducing services to find £55m of savings would have been previously unthinkable.
Leeds City Council says it needs to find an extra 55 million pounds worth of savings over the next 12 months. Some services could be cut back and charges for using others could be increased as officials try to balance their budget. James Webster's been looking at the figures.
Leeds City Council will discuss details of its budget for the next financial year at a meeting on Friday 15 February before it is approved later in the month. Current proposals to help find a further £54.9m of savings include:
- Increasing council house rents, garage rents and service charges by 5.9%
- Children's nursery fees to be increased by £2 a day
- Above-inflation rise in council fees and charges
- Sport charges to increase by around 4%
- School clothing allowances to end
- Bereavement charges to increase by 7.5%
- Review of evening and Sunday parking charges
- Review of adult social care services which are currently free
- New or increased charges for council events
- End some elements of free home to school/college travel from September 2013
- Seasonal closures of heritage facilities
The council says its decisions have been influenced by a survey of 2000 people who called for culture and leisure services to be cut the most. Those questioned wanted children's services to be protected and said parking and leisure centre prices could generate more income.
Leeds City Council's leader has warned of painful decisions trying to find a further £55m of budget cuts over the next financial year. Councillor Keith Wakefield says the key theme of spending for 2013/14 will be "protecting essential services by making painful decisions we can no longer avoid."
In the two years since the government began its public spending review Leeds City Council has found £145m of savings. During the next financial year £54.9m extra has to be saved from the budget. 334 full time jobs will go and other proposals include service reductions and extra charges.
Leeds City Council has paid out more than £600,000 compensation claims caused by potholes in the last five years. More than 1,600 claims were lodged during that time - but only a fraction have actually been settled.
Last year, 355 claims were made by drivers for personal injury claims or car repairs - but only 55 have been settled. In 2010, one injury claim attracted more than twenty six thousand pounds.
Leeds City Council is trialling a festive shutdown of buildings that are in low or no demand over the Christmas period as one of the ways of looking to save money. Non-essential services will be closed so as to reduce energy and building costs from midnight 23 December to midnight 1 January 2013.
Services with high demand over this period - refuse collection, street cleansing and traffic management - will not be closed Child protection remains a priority and there will be sufficient social work staff in place to deal with all enquiries and new referrals
Similarly the majority of Adult Social Care services will also remain open. a more detailed list of affected services in your area visit www.leeds.gov.ukand click through to the specific service page.