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Protest over planned budget cuts at Wales' biggest council

Earlier this month, the charity Touch Trust demonstrated against how they are set to lose some of their funding under Cardiff Council cuts.

Wales' largest local authority, Cardiff Council, is meeting this afternoon to set its budget for the coming year.

Campaigners are due to hold a rally to protest against cuts to services and jobs losses.

Protest group Cardiff Against The Cuts is arguing that the council should scrap plans to cut £22.5m in spending on services, and cut 300 jobs, describing them as "cruel."

Proposals include cuts to funding for domestic abuse charity Women's Aid, and charity Tros Gynnal, which provides support to vulnerable children.

Ross Saunders, the protest group's secretary, said: "These are cuts that will hit victims of domestic violence, children at risk of sexual or physical abuse, children in foster care, elderly and disabled people and those with mental health problems and learning difficulties."

Welsh Conservatives: Labour is "cherrypicking" with Tafwyl grant

It is extraordinary for the Welsh Government to cherrypick cuts being imposed by their Labour chums in Cardiff Council.

“This sets a dangerous precedent, sending a message to local authorities that if they propose irresponsible cuts to essential services, they will simply be bailed out by the Welsh Government.

A cynic would think Welsh Labour Ministers are putting the narrow interests of their party before the country by bunging their council colleagues £20,000 to help them meet a pre-election vote-grabbing pledge.”

– Janet Finch-Saunders AM, Shadow Minister for Local Government

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Welsh Government gives Cardiff Tafwyl festival £20,000 grant

Cardiff's annual 'Tafwyl' Welsh language festival is to receive £20,000 in funding from the Welsh Government.

It follows last week's announcement that Cardiff Council would no longer fund the festival, as it attempts to save £22m from its budget in the next financial year.

Festival organiser Menter Caerdydd says the funding will help "secure the future of the festival in its current format".

This is a unique case. This important cultural festival has expanded year on year since it was launched in 2006 and is invaluable in promoting the Welsh language. It has the potential to become a national event in our capital city.

“I recognise that Cardiff’s budget negotiations are still ongoing. However, I have acted now to ensure there is no prolonged period of uncertainty for the Festival organisers, or for those people from outside the capital who are planning to travel to Tafwyl. Over 10% of those who attended last year were from outside Cardiff.

I have come to this decision following a discussion with Cardiff’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Cllr Huw Thomas, who I know was working hard to find a sustainable future for the Tafwyl celebration.

Cllr Thomas has committed to Cardiff once again providing support in kind through the supply of the Cardiff Castle grounds and considerable staff time and officer support. Now that the uncertainty for 2013 has been removed, discussions can now focus on how the event develops in future years.

– Leighton Andrews AM, Minister for the Welsh Language

Cases in children's services 'needed further investigation'

The Council regularly conducts internal audits of performance in Children Services as part of our commitment to make sure everything is being done to the highest standards to safeguard children and young people in Cardiff.

These audits are very thorough, as the well-being and safeguarding of children in care is of paramount importance.

As a result of one of these recent internal audits it was discovered a small number of cases in the Child Health and Disability Team needed further investigation.

Although it is only a small number of cases audited that have caused concern it is important the Council act decisively as any matter of child protection is of utmost priority. Therefore immediate action has been taken to suspend a number of members of staff, as a neutral act, to enable a thorough, independent investigation.

During this time interim management arrangements are in place. We will be making sure that everything possible is being done to quickly resolve this matter ensuring the appropriate investigation is carried out swiftly and thoroughly.

– Cardiff Council spokesperson

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Council to vote on 'biggest expansion of Cardiff for fifty years'

Controversial proposals being considered in Cardiff tonight could lead to the biggest expansion of the capital in fifty years.

Cardiff council's preferred development plan would see a very different vision for the city by 2026, with 45,000 new homes being built

They estimate by 2026 there will be another 40,000 jobs available in the Capital, which it's thought will bring the total population of Cardiff to 408,000, over 50,000 more than today.

The council believes its plans will meet increasing demand to live and work in Cardiff.

But opponents of the plan are worried about how transport will cope, the loss of greenfield sites, and if there will be a detrimental impact on the surrounding areas as the Capital expands.

Esyllt Carr reports.

Cardiff expansion vote

Councillors in Cardiff will today vote on plans to build more than 45,000 homes in and around the Welsh capital.

The local development plan sets out the shape of Cardiff over the next 14 years. It says over half the homes will be built on brownfield sites, with the rest on land yet to be developed.

The blueprint includes plans for:

  • 40,000 new jobs and 45,000 new homes
  • Improved transport links in and around the city
  • Protected countryside and heritage
  • 'Roath Basin' - a mixed-use scheme including offices, residential, retail and leisure
  • Cardiff Central Enterprise Zone

Today's vote will be followed by a public consultation and more work on the plans.

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