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.
This has been by far the hardest budget to set in my time on the council and we want to be up front with people about the scale of the challenge we are facing and what these changes will mean. Making decisions which we know will be unpopular over price increases and budget cuts is not something any of us wanted to make, but the position is now so difficult we have had no choice but to look at areas we had previously avoided.
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