Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wardens saved

The annual city budget meeting on Tuesday...and quite a lot of good news.

For the third year in a row, the city has kept the council tax increase to 1.9 per cent.

At local level, we'd been worried about the loss of the neighbourhood renewal fund.

This has been paying for, amongst other things:
the environmental warden;
skips used for residents' clean ups;
youth activities;
some of the gating and fencing schemes that have gone in in recent years.

The government had replaced this with a Working Neighbourhoods Fund, which, it is intended, will focus on employment.

However the council has now secured agreement that environmental wardens can be paid for from this that's good news. Over the last few years our wardens have led a great many initiatives. As well as performing statutory duties, they've worked with residents on neighbourhood clean ups and over the last year have taken the lead in identifying and putting in place the big gating and fencing project.

We've also been told we will get £100,000 "community chest" per ward, again. If we don't have to pay for the warden from this money, there may well be scope for developing some activities.

So we're planning to consult local residents on their views. Where do we need extra effort? Youth activities, younger children, street cleanliness, security?