Posted: Thu 21st Dec 2023

Council Leader criticises Welsh Government’s “very, very disappointing” funding uplift for Flintshire

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Dec 21st, 2023

The leader of Flintshire Council has vowed to make the “strongest possible representations” to ministers in Cardiff over a lower than expected local government settlement.

Welsh Government confirmed on Wednesday a modest 2.2% increase in funding for Flintshire for the fiscal year 2024/25.​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌​​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌‌​​‌‌​‌‍‌‌​​‌‌​​

The figure is notably below the average uplift of 3.1% for Welsh local authorities, placing Flintshire third lowest in terms of financial support across Wales’s 22 councils.

Only Gwynedd and Conwy received a lower settlement than Flintshire, with both receiving a 2% uplift.

Newport, at 4.7%, and Cardiff, at 4.1%, received the highest uplifts, neighbouring Wrexham has been awarded a generous 3.2%.

The Welsh Government said: “The settlement reflects the government’s commitment to protecting the services we all rely on every day, meaning there have been some difficult decisions to radically redesign spending plans to focus funding on such services.” ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌​​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌‌​​‌‌​‌‍‌‌​​‌‌​​

Council leader Cllr Ian Roberts said the settlement figure was lower than they had been told it would be, and described it as ‘very, very disappointing for the people of Flintshire.’

He has called for a “fundamental review of the way in which the Welsh Local Government funding formula works.”

One Senedd Member said that the Labour Government had given North Wales a “rough deal” with lower council funding settlements than local authorities in South Wales.

Cllr Roberts said: “Unfortunately, Flintshire County Council finds itself at the lower end of the settlement once again.”

“We were told that there would be an average increase of 3.1%, yet we have received only 2.2%, the third lowest in Wales.”

“Flintshire is already facing a budget gap of £11.090m in 2024/25, and this settlement will only serve to increase this further.”

“Even before the blow of this settlement announcement, our work in setting a legally balanced budget for 2024/25 has been proving to be extremely difficult and challenging.”

Cllr Roberts added: “There needs to be a fundamental review of the way in which the Welsh Local Government funding formula works and the increasing gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ in Wales.”

“We will be making the strongest possible representations to the Welsh Government and to Members of the Senedd about this very, very disappointing settlement for the people of Flintshire.”

Neal Cockerton, Chief Executive of Flintshire Council, added: “We are continuing to work through the detail of the provisional allocation to fully understand what, if any, further potential impacts there are.”

“Whilst we recognise that Welsh Government is facing its own significant financial challenges next year, this is an incredibly disappointing settlement for Flintshire.”

“Setting our budget for 2024/25 is proving to be our most challenging yet, and today’s announcement will only make what is already a very difficult budget setting process, even more challenging.”

Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said: “In an incredibly tough financial situation, we’ve reshaped our spending plans so we can protect core, frontline public services provided by local authorities like schools and social care. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌​​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌‌​​‌‌​‌‍‌‌​​‌‌​​

“As I explained (earlier this week), our overall funding settlement is not sufficient to meet all pressures. This has meant taking difficult decisions elsewhere in the budget to honour our commitment to councils last year of a 3.1% rise in their funding for next year. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌​​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌‌​​‌‌​‌‍‌‌​​‌‌​​

“I appreciate the pressures local government is facing and recognise that demand for services, along with the recent very high rates of inflation, mean local government will still need to make difficult decisions on services, efficiencies, and council tax in setting their budgets. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌​​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌‌​​‌‌​‌‍‌‌​​‌‌​​

“We will continue to work closely together to face these shared challenges and strive to make the best use of the resources we have in order to make the most difference to the communities we serve.” ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌​​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌‌​​‌‌​‌‍‌‌​​‌‌​​

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for North Wales, Darren Millar MS, said: “The Labour Government has, yet again, given North Wales a rough deal with lower council funding settlements than local authorities in South Wales.”

“Cardiff, Newport and Swansea are getting more than twice the increase in funding of most North Wales councils, nearly all of which sit at the bottom of the funding league table.”

“Labour Ministers should ditch their shameful partiality, commission an independent review of the council funding formula, and invest millions more in our public services instead of pet projects like increasing the number of politicians in Cardiff Bay.”

Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com
Latest News

  • RSPCA launches ‘For Every Kind’ campaign in Wales to ‘rethink animals’ in 200th year
  • Deeside based POP UP Products welcomes new management coordinator
  • Senedd to vote on Outdoor Education bill this week

  • More...

    RSPCA launches ‘For Every Kind’ campaign in Wales to ‘rethink animals’ in 200th year

    News

    Deeside based POP UP Products welcomes new management coordinator

    News

    Senedd to vote on Outdoor Education bill this week

    News

    Summer scam alert: Lloyds Bank warns of rise in holiday frauds

    News

    Deeside volunteers raise £13,300 for Cancer Research

    News

    Colleagues taking on Manchester Marathon in aid of North East Wales Mind

    News

    Eat Cake Week: Bake to make a difference for Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith children’s hospices

    News

    Coleg Cambria retains position as leader in cyber security education

    News

    Just days left to register to vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections

    News