Budget cut of 1% unveiled for ‘low funded’ Flintshire Council as Welsh Government publishes settlement figure
Flintshire County Council has been given the provisional settlement figure from Welsh Government, which will impact on what budget savings are going to have to be made in 2019-2020 and future years.
The settlement information gives local authorities the information to set their budgets and council tax levels for 2019-20.
As anticipated Flintshire is one of the hardest hit councils in Wales, the planned budget unveiled by the Welsh Government shows the council will receive £187,817 million a decrease of 1.0% on the previous year.
Responding to Welsh Government’s provisional settlement today, WLGA Deputy Leader, and Flintshire County Council Leader Cllr Aaron Shotton said:
“Today’s Provisional Settlement is grossly inadequate for the funding needs of local councils. The councils in North Wales will be particularly badly hit under this planned budget with three councils – Conwy, Flintshire and Ynys Mon – at the foot of the annual funding ‘league table’.
All councils are again expected to find big cuts in their budgets to balance their books next year.
At some point soon, one or more councils might have to admit that they are no longer able to legally balance their budget, without compromising the quality and safety of local services, under such intense financial pressure.
Council leaders have been warning about the deepening impacts of austerity for several years.
The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) has made a well-argued and evidenced case for improved funding to protect schools, social care for the elderly, environmental, transport, library and other services.”
Cllr Shotton added:
“Welsh Government has failed to match its rhetoric of support with its budget. We welcome the announced increase in funding for the NHS in North Wales.
“Welsh Government needs to re-balance its budget to invest in the local community services that Councils provide alongside the NHS. The taxpayer could be faced with larger than ever Council Tax rises next year because Welsh Government is no longer funding councils to the level of proven need.
“We would call on Assembly Members from across the region, from all parties, to urge Welsh Government to undertake an immediate review of the support given to Council services within this budget.”
The Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local government called out the imbalance of funding between local authorities
The core details of the funding allocations show that all 6 of the North Wales authorities will receive a year on year reduction in their funding.
In comparison, 7 of the 12 South Wales authorities will receive an increase-in or continuation-of the level of funding from last year.
At the same time that the North Wales authorities are being cut, only Welsh Labour run councils in Cardiff, Newport and Rhondda Cynon Taf are getting budget increases.
Speaking following the publication, Mr Isherwood said:
“This settlement is a kick in the teeth for North, Mid and West Wales.
Not only are North Wales councils seeing their budgets cut, but Labour run councils in Cardiff, Newport and Neath Port Talbot are seeing their budgets increase.
“It is cronyism of the highest order and it is council tax payers across the region that will be paying the price.
“The Welsh Labour Government must look again at this settlement to give North Wales it’s fair share”.
Welsh Government say:
“Local authorities in Wales will receive £4.2bn in core revenue funding and non-domestic rates next year to spend on delivering key services. This includes £2.5m of floor funding to ensure that no authority has to manage with a reduction of more than 1.0%.
“In recognition of the important role local authorities play in delivering core social services and the preventative approach at the heart of delivery, this settlement contains a further £20m to help ease those pressures.
“We have also provided funding for additional costs arising from changes by the UK Government to teachers’ pay, as well as funding for our proposals for new eligibility criteria for free school meals in light of the continued rollout of Universal Credit by the UK Government.
“In addition, we are providing £60m capital funding over three years for a local authority road refurbishment scheme to help repair the damage caused by a series of hard winters and this summer’s heatwave and access to the £78m local transport fund.”
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