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Local austerity set to continue

Created on 25/10/2012 @ 11:14


The final impact of the Welsh local government funding for Powys is not known but significant savings will be needed, the county council has said.

Carl Sargeant, Minister for Local Government and Communities announced that the county council would receive a 0.15 per cent increase in funding – the lowest in Wales – when he unveiled the provisional budget for 2013-14.

Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Dai Davies reacted: “Powys’ provisional settlement shows a 0.15 per cent increase in the next financial, against an average increase for local authorities in Wales of 1.5 per cent.

“It is likely that we have been badly affected by changes to how Learning Disabilities Resettlement Grants are distributed and falling pupil numbers in Powys schools continue to have a significant budget impact.

“It is too early to say what the full implications of the budget settlement are but it is likely that we will be looking for savings in excess of £5m next year. We will be looking for similar savings year on year for the foreseeable future.

“It is quite clear from work carried out by the Welsh Local Government Association we will need to deliver services in 2020 with the same funding levels as 2000.” he said.

Powys County Council, Executive Leader, Councillor David Jones said: “Powys and three other Welsh councils had expected the Minister to announce special help for the four councils most affected by the changes. All of Welsh local government supported the move and it is very disappointing that the Minister felt unable to help.”

“The cabinet will have the very difficult task of balancing increasing service pressures, growing demands to protect existing assets and services, and meet increasing costs, particularly energy and fuel.

“We expect to receive our final budget settlement figure in December and the county council will set the level of council tax for 2013/2014 in the New Year.”
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