Posted: Wed 20th Dec 2023

Flintshire receives 2.2% funding increase from Welsh Government

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Dec 20th, 2023

The Welsh government has announced a 2.2% funding boost for Flintshire in its provisional local government settlement.

The uplift equates to around £5.6m, but once again, the council is at the lower end of the scale when it comes to a funding increase in Wales.

The Welsh Government said, “Core revenue funding for local government will increase by 3.1% on a like-for-like basis, compared to the current year.”

“No local authority will receive less than a 2% increase.”

“Schools, social services and social care, refuse and recycling collections, and other key services provided by local authorities will be backed with £5.7 billion in Welsh Government Revenue Support Grant and non-domestic rates.”

In terms of ranking, the Flintshire uplift is the third lowest in Wales, with Gwynedd and Conwy both receiving a 2% uplift.

Newport, at 4.7%, and Cardiff, at 4.1%, received the highest uplifts.

Flintshire Council needs to plug a £32m hole before it sets the 2024-25 budget.

To date, the authority has found £14m through efficiencies and increasing charges but still needs to find another £18m in savings before early next year.

The Welsh Government said: “This 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.”

“A package of support for non-domestic rates benefiting every ratepayer in Wales was also announced as part of the draft Budget yesterday. This includes funding to cap the increase in the non-domestic rates multiplier for 2024-25 to 5%. This is at an annual cost of £18m and provides for a fifth successive year of support for retail, leisure, and hospitality businesses.”

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 yesterday, 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.”

A 6-week consultation on the provisional settlement has opened today, which will end on 31 January 2024.

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.”

Deeside.com has asked Flintshire Council for a comment on the settlement.

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