Gwynedd Council has finalised its strategy to deal with the £40 million funding shortfall it will face over the next four years.
The Council’s Corporate Director, Dilwyn Williams said:
“Like businesses or households in Gwynedd, the Council must make sure that the amount it spends on local services is equal to the amount of income it receives. Unfortunately for the Council this means reducing the amount we spend or increasing the income we generate by £40 million.
“The fact that Gwynedd anticipated this situation last year and developed a council-wide Savings Strategy will help the Council greatly in dealing with the current situation.
“Of the £16 million of potential savings identified in 2009, £4 million has already been delivered. This means that the remaining £12 million can be implemented during the coming two years and that we will therefore not need to deliver additional cuts during this period.
“It is anticipated that limited Council Tax increases over the next four years will bring in a further £8 million towards the £40 million target. As a result, we will need to identify and deliver a further £20million of savings between 2011/12 and 2014/15.
“In accordance with the wishes of the Council Board, our aim will be to continue to identify even more efficiency savings over and above those that are already being delivered so that actual service cuts are kept to the bare minimum.
“If cuts are unavoidable, the financial strategy will provide an inclusive and comprehensive framework for involving residents in the process of deciding which cuts should be delivered.”
Gwynedd Council Finance Portfolio Leader, Councillor Sian Gwenllian added:
“Earlier this year, following the announcement of the UK Government’s emergency budget, we anticipated that Gwynedd would face a £47 million shortfall. Now however, following a more positive settlement from the Welsh Assembly Government, this shortfall has been reduced to £40 million.
“However the funding gap facing Gwynedd remains massive. It is clear that fundamental changes will need to be made to the way local services are delivered. Meeting this challenge effectively whilst limiting the impact upon the public as much as possible will require a real team effort.”