Flintshire council leader welcomes additional Welsh Government funding
The leader of Flintshire Council has welcomed additional funding through the Local Government Settlement but says the economic outlook for the authority is still ‘challenging’.
Yesterday the settlement for all 22 local authorities across Wales was confirmed by the Welsh Government’s finance and local government minister Rebecca Evans MS.
The core funding for local government is rising 7.9 per cent on last year, with Flintshire Council set to receive an 8.4 per cent increase, placing it in the top half of the table of 22 authorities across Wales.
Social care, education and other key services provided by local authorities will be backed with £5.5 billion in Welsh Government Revenue Support Grant and non-domestic rates.
Before the announcement, Flintshire Council was anticipating having to find £32m plus in savings before setting its 2023-24 budget, and it has traditionally received one of the lower settlements in Wales.
The authority is now looking set to receive a higher figure than might have been anticipated, something which has been welcomed by the leader of the council’s ruling Labour cabinet, Flint Castle Councillor Ian Roberts.
He said: “The settlement is positive news and I take this opportunity to thank Welsh Government for listening to the concerns expressed during the period up to the recent settlement announcement.
“As a Council, our discussions are ongoing with the WLGA and Welsh Government over the funding formula.
“The current economic conditions are creating significant challenges within our communities and this improved position of an uplift of 8.4 per cent will assist greatly in working towards a balanced budget position.
“There remains considerable pressure in all of our Council Services with those in Social Services being particularly challenging and this situation is set to continue.”
Cllr Roberts added: “Overall the economic outlook remains very difficult and the additional funding will contribute to mitigating some of these pressures.
“We will now take time to work through the implications for the Council and its services and in the New Year present our understanding and the implications of the settlement for services.”
The MP for Alyn and Deeside Mark Tami has also welcomed what he describes as the best financial settlement for Flintshire Council in years.
Mr Tami said: “I welcome this, the best settlement in years for Flintshire.
“I’m pleased that the Welsh Government have listened to the Labour Flintshire County Council’s campaign for increased funding, led by Councillor Ian Roberts.
“Importantly this is money into the base funding and will therefore have a positive impact in future years.
“After recent chaos at the heart of the UK Conservative Government and the years of austerity enforced by them, all councils are facing difficult choices. But this will certainly help to soften the blow we were facing.”
There will now be a seven week period of formal consultation on the Settlement for 2023-24.
Councils have until Thursday, February 2 to give their views.
Flintshire Council will set its budget early next year.
By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter
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