Everyone to feel share of pain
EVERYONE from staff to service users and those who pay council tax in Port Talbot will feel their share of the pain when the budget crisis starts to hit home.
Although schools will get the minimum the Welsh Government requires them to have, the council has in previous years given more than this.
However, a council spokesman said: "Our scope to go further than the required level is rapidly diminishing.
"Cuts such as discretionary transport are being proposed. Leisure, libraries and community services will all the subject to reviews."
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While the council says it has no plans to close them it's possible some could be merged to reduce the number of buildings they operate out of.
Social services is already under pressure and the council says there is limited room to manoeuvre. Instead it's looking to take forward proposals for "more effective and efficient models" of service delivery.
In the past that has translated into, for example, the council transferring its housing stock to NPT Homes and striking a deal with Gwalia for it to take over the authority's residential care services.
In environmental services, the council says the guiding principal is to maintain key services such as waste collection, highways maintenance, cleansing and street lighting.
"A series of individual, more detailed proposals will be brought forward covering car parking charges, bus services, council buildings and other areas," said the spokesman.
As far as staffing is concerned, the council aims to reduce the overall number of posts through natural wastage and other measures, but with no plans for compulsory redundancies.
However, the council says there are proposals to reduce the wages bill, which accounts for 60 per cent of its total budget — while still considering the possibility of a "living wage".
There will also be a review of funding to outside bodies.
"This is the start of the process and members have made no decisions as yet," said the spokesman. "The council recognises the difficult economic climate and the reality that cuts must be made."