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  • Writer's pictureDan Heley

Rubbish collections at risk as North Somerset Council warns of budget cuts

North Somerset council is contemplating a potential reduction in the frequency of rubbish collections due to financial constraints. Faced with budgetary challenges, council officials are exploring adjustments to the regularity of black bin waste collection in an effort to achieve cost savings.

This decision comes in response to the Government's financial settlement to North Somerset Counci, which, according to council leaders, falls short in providing adequate funding to address the rising cost pressures confronting the authority. To meet these challenges, the council is compelled to identify an additional £3.2 million in savings for the upcoming year, in addition to the £11.6 million already earmarked.

North Somerset Council leader Councillor Mike Bell said: “We’d hoped that the government would recognise the immense pressure being felt across local government and provide some much-needed support. They have failed to do so and their lack of funding is forcing difficult decisions in North Somerset. Our settlement figure is the lowest of any unitary authority in the south west.

"Excluding council tax, our government funding per household for next year will be £729 compared to an English average of £1,101. This is the equivalent to around £37 million less in government funding for North Somerset compared to the English average."

“All councils are in a challenging position, but North Somerset is locked into a cycle of historic underfunding that is leaving us further and further behind.” The council has been working on a series of measures to enable it to continue supporting vulnerable people and other vital services by examining expenditure across all its service areas."

Mr Bell added: “These are incredibly challenging times. We are looking at everything, and it’s inevitable that the services our communities rely on every day are now exposed to further cuts. We’re exploring introducing new car parking charges in all our towns, reducing the frequency of our black bin collections - as other councils have done successfully – and raising all our fees and charges in line with inflation.

“We will do all we can to continue to manage our budgets effectively and efficiently and to avoid the desperate measures that other councils are facing, with the Local Government Association predicting that one in five councils will in effect be bankrupt within the next year.”

The council will consider its budget proposals for the next financial year at a meeting of its executive on February 7.

The final budget and council tax levels for the year ahead is expected to be agreed at a meeting of the full council on February 20.



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