Town and community councils will be asked to take on a lot more services in a bid to strip down county council expenditure, committee members have heard.

Transferring responsibility for public toilets, ground maintenance and street cleaning have all been the subject of talks with town and community councils across the county as Ceredigion County Council attempts to finalise its draft budget for 2024/25.

Scrutiny committee members heard that more than £100,000 in savings by axing services, or pawning them off on community councils to take over, has been identified.

The council wants to stop undertaking seasonal grounds maintenance and street cleaning and transfer the responsibility to town and community councils in a bid to save £116,000.

A “combination of increased fees, possible closure, reducing running costs or transferring facilities to town and community councils” for public toilets in the county is earmarked to save £100,000, but Finance Director Duncan Hall said he was confident that that saving would be “over-achieved” based on talks with town and community councils so far.

Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration Cllr Clive Davies told members that running the 33 public toilets in Ceredigion costs around £200,000 a year, with around £50,000 spent on repairs “due to damage and vandalism.”

“There are communities that want to take on the toilets, and discussions are going on,” he said.

Cllr Davies said that if certain toilets were not taken over by town and community councils, then the council would “have to look again at keeping them open.”

Cllr Elizabeth Evans said that if town councils take on the running of the toilets, “they are also taking on the vandalism bill.”

“It doesn’t matter who is running the toilets, we are spending a lot of money on repairing vandalism in toilets everywhere,” she said.

“That bill is being transferred to town and community councils.”

Scrutiny committee members heard that meetings have taken place with town and community councils across the county in recent weeks to identify which facilities could be taken over ahead of final budget decisions at the end of February.

Any extra services and facilities for town and community councils are likely to be paid for with a rise in the precept – the portion of council tax that goes to a resident’s town or community council.