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Statement on our financial position by Councillor Andrew Barry

  • Categories : Press Release , Council , Corporate
  • 26 Oct 2022
Andrew Barry £13M Funding Gap Graphic English

Over the last few weeks and months this country has been exposed to economic turmoil.  The early signs are this;

Our Council, like every other Council in Wales, will be facing unprecedented financial pressures over the coming year and I felt it was important to bring you that information at the earliest opportunity.  

The reason? All the indicators would suggest the financial settlement we are about to receive from Welsh Government will be poor, because of the poor settlement they are about to receive from Central Government.

We are currently looking at a £13m shortfall within that funding gap.

The daily turmoil you see on the tv is now putting us in the situation where we must find money to fill that funding gap or reduce services that we simply cannot afford to deliver.

We will do everything in our power to try and close that financial gap and continue to provide those services to you.

Over the past few years we’ve turned projected budget deficits into actual budget surpluses through more effective working and help from Welsh Government.  We’ve been prudent with those surpluses and will now use those from our reserves – money which is put aside for emergency situations – to help fill that gap, however there are restrictions in terms of how much reserves we can use.

We will also be looking to identify further savings across all service areas.

In addition, we will be asking you, how you think we should prioritise services and set the Council Tax for 2023/24.

The Council Tax income will contribute to the shortfall and help to close that funding gap further.

We have been working with Welsh Government on a fairer system of Council Tax to reduce the burden of the second highest Council Tax levels in Wales, but until Welsh Government change the system we are stuck with the current position.

For next year, a 1% increase, would raise around £259,000 and this we can spend on delivering services. This translates to around 23p per week to the lowest band property, or 33p per week to an average Band D property.

This is your County Borough and you need to have your say in the decision making process and how we set your Council’s budget for the next year.

I, and other Members of the Cabinet will be out and about over the next few months to talk to you about those decisions on our Budget Consultation Roadshow.  You can also complete the online survey. Paper copies are also available at the Civic Centre

I’ll bring you further updates as and when, we have them.

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