News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Flintshire Council faced with cuts of £13.7 million next year

Flintshire Council looks set to make cuts of £13.7 million next year as it faces a large hole in its budget.

The authority has estimated that council tax bills may need to increase by 4.5 per cent in order to help plug the gap in 2019/20.

It follows an above average rise for residents of 6.7 per cent earlier this year in order to assist school budgets.

As a result of the projected shortfall for all 22 Welsh councils, the Welsh Local Government Association is lobbying Welsh Government for an uplift in their revenue support grant.

Council leader Aaron Shotton said the projected amount had gone up from £10.6m as a result of emerging pressures including increased wage costs.

In a report, he said: “In summary, the council will need to identify efficiencies of £13.7m to balance the budget for 2019/20 with £13.1m needing to be on a recurring basis.

“After taking into account efficiencies identified to date, and with an estimated hypothetical council tax increase of 4.5 per cent for our needs, the council would need a minimum increase in its revenue support grant of three per cent.

“This would rise to an estimated four per cent to be able to meet the anticipated shortfall in funding for the additional teacher pay and pension costs.

“The impact of the current pay award for non-schools employees over and above the one per cent uplift is £1.084m which will need to be met from reserves on a temporary basis in the current financial year.

“However, the cumulative effect for 2019/20 increases to £3.251m when taking into account factors such as incremental progression.”

The impact of the non-teacher pay award for school-based staff is estimated to be in the region of £1.2m.

Meanwhile, the recently announced teachers’ pay award would add a further £1.9m, but is not included in the forecast as it is expected to be funded nationally.

The projected additional budget needed to meet social service demands, including out of county placements, totals £5.2m.

The report will be considered by Flintshire Council’s cabinet next Tuesday.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter.

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