Gwynedd Council sets budget for 2017/18

Date 07/03/2017

Gwynedd Council sets budget for 2017/18

Gwynedd councillors have approved the authority’s budget for the 2017/18 financial year at a meeting of the full Council on 2 March.

 Over the coming 12 months, the Council forecasts that it will need £238 million to deliver a wide-range of local services, with £169 million of this sum funded through a grant from the Welsh Government.

 Last year, the Council agreed on a comprehensive plan to address the significant shortfall it faces due to sustained cuts in the government funding it receives to deliver for local services. At that time, it was forecast that Gwynedd’s Council Tax would need to increase by 3.97% for two years running to help avoid drastic cuts to vital services.

 Since then the Council has made positive progress in delivering efficiency savings and implementing limited service cuts which are targeted on the feedback received from local people during the Gwynedd Challenge consultation.

 Councillor Peredur Jenkins, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Resources said: “There’s no denying that these remain extremely difficult times for councils across the country. It is a fact that the amount of money Gwynedd Council receives from the government to pay for local services has fallen over recent years whilst the cost of delivering these services has continued to rise.

 “In Gwynedd we have set a long-term course for dealing with this significant funding squeeze. It is pleasing to note that the latest independent report by the Wales Audit Office confirms that the ‘Council has strong financial planning arrangements in place supported by well-considered savings plans’.

 “This pro-active approach to tough times is bearing fruit with £4.3 million of efficiency savings approved and a further £1.1 million set to be delivered in the year ahead.

 “In addition, whilst we’d prefer not to have to consider such measures, we will be implementing £1.9 million of service cuts targeted on what local people told us during the Gwynedd Challenge public consultation exercise. This work means that we can avoid implementing any additional cuts in the year ahead beyond what has already been agreed.

 “The Council has also been able to successfully prove to the Welsh Government that it costs more to run public services care for vulnerable people in their own homes in large rural counties. This work will mean that Gwynedd will now receive a fairer share of national funding for our area, although it is important to remember that this improved grant settlement does not come close to addressing the overall funding gap facing the Council.

 “These combined factors, along with the Council’s sound financial management, means that councillors have been able to set a budget of £231 million and to limit the 2017/18 Council Tax increase to 2.8%. This equates to an annual increase of £33.80 for a Band D property, or 65 pence a week.”