Could meerkats be the answer to reducing one council’s cuts?

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Waste collection, swimming pools, arts, community and voluntary funding, CCTV and council buildings all face the axe as Lancaster City Council looks to save £5.6m over the next two years.

But plans to create a money-spinning meerkat enclosure at Williamson Park could net £105,000 in profit for the council over four years.

The council is proposing to collect household waste once every three weeks from 2020, start charging for collection of green waste, review the future of the city’s Maritime and Cottage Museums, and charge £1 for entry to the splash park at Happy Mount Park in Morecambe from July.

Coun Richard Newman-Thompson, cabinet member with responsibility for finance, said the council is in an “impossible position” and there isn’t enough money to run the services that people want.

More job cuts and redundancies are also expected to follow.

If approved by full council, the plans will see huge changes to the services delivered by the city council.

The proposals come as Lancashire County Council looks to cut library, museum, public transport and children’s services, while raising council tax by 3.99 per cent.

Lancaster City Council is proposing to raise its council tax precept by 1.99 per cent in April adding a further sting to the proposed cuts.

Voluntary, community and faith sectors could lose up to £788,000 in funding over four years, while plans to cut funding for the Marsh Community Centre would save over £55,000.

Charges for green waste are also on the cards.