News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Cutting more to balance budgets would cause serious damage to services says Council Chief

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Nov 2nd, 2016.

Flintshire council can’t make further cuts to try balance its budgets without “causing serious damage” to services.

That was the message from Council Chief Executive Colin Everett who was speaking at a public meeting in Buckley to discuss the council’s budget for 2017/18 as it faces an estimated £14m shortfall.

He said that in the last two years the council had already made £25m in savings, with £60m in total since 2008/09.

“We have done lots of things to save money but we are pretty much maxed out,” he said.

The council’s ‘Our Flintshire, Our Future’ public engagement meeting was the first of six planned in the county during November.

20 People Attended

Council Leaders are taking the opportunity to consult on the authorities financial strategy during November, around 20 people attended the meeting at Mountain Lane school on Tuesday.

The audience was told how Flintshire County Council is working together with partners and others in an effort to cut costs and maintain services.

The council workforce had been cut to help balance the books, Flintshire has seen a 50% reduction in senior management and 30% cut in middle managers, the audience was told.

Mr Everett said the authority expects to balance its budget for the following year but, going forward, there was “no wriggle room” to make more savings if government austerity measures continued.

“We can’t go further without causing serious damage to services,” he said.

Unfair Funding

Council leader Aaron Shotton, who was also among the speakers, raised concerns over the fairness of the funding formula – the money the Welsh Government allocates to all Wales’ councils in revenue support grants.

The authority has received a “flat-line” increase in its draft budget for 2017/18, placing its 19th out of 22 Welsh councils in terms of funding – which excludes money raised from council tax and fees from council services – although it is sixth in terms of it population size, said Mr Shotton.

He said Newport was a similar size but it had received £29.5m more than Flintshire.

Mr Shotton said a review of the way councils receive funding was under way  but the issue could not be resolved overnight.

He finished by telling the meeting it was “not all doom and gloom” with work under way to bring more jobs to the area along a bid for extra funding to finance infrastructure projects like rail improvements.

Six more public meetings will be held in November:

Area 2  

Monday 21 November 2016

 

6.30pm – 8.30pm

 

Ysgol Cae’r Nant, Connah’s Quay

For people in the Town and Community Council areas of:

Connah’s Quay, Northop Hall and Shotton

To register to attend the Area 2 event please click here

Deadline for registration:  20 November 2016

 

Area 3

 

Monday 7 November 2016

 

6.30pm – 8.30pm

 

Gwynedd CP School, Flint

For people in the Town and Community Council areas of:

Bagillt and Flint

To register to attend the Area 3 event please click here 

Deadline for registration:  6 November 2016

 

Area 4

 

Tuesday 8 November 2016

 

6.30pm – 8.30pm

 

Ysgol Bryn Coch, Mold

For people in the Town and Community Council areas of:

Cilcain, Gwernaffield, Gwernymynydd, Leeswood, Llanfynydd, Mold, Nannerch, Nercwys, Northop, Treuddyn

To register to attend the Area 4 event please click here

Deadline for registration:  7 November 2016  

 

Area 5

 

Thursday 10 November 2016

 

6.30pm – 8.30pm

 

Ysgol Maes y Felin, Holywell

For people in the Town and Community Council areas of:

Brynford, Caerwys, Holywell, Halkyn, Llanasa, Mostyn, Trelawyd & Gwaenysgor, Whitford and Ysceifiog

To register to attend the Area 5 event please click here

Deadline for registration:  9 November 2016

 

Area 6

 

Monday 14 November 2016

 

6.30pm – 8.30pm

 

Sandycroft CP School, Sandycroft

For people in the Town and Community Council areas of:

Hawarden, Queensferry and Sealand

To register to attend the Area 6 event please click here 

Deadline for registration:  13 November 2016 

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