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Powys is still joint bottom of funding table

Created on 23/12/2016 @ 10:09
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Powys County Council has today warned that despite a small increase in its confirmed budget from the Welsh Government, it will do little to relieve its financial pressures.

Powys is joint bottom of the funding table for the 22 local authorities in Wales.The council received a net increase of £170,000 for 2017/18 when comparing the final local government settlement announced on Wednesday, when compared with the provisional local government settlement from October.

Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Wynne Jones, said: “The net increase is after allowing for a £207,000 homelessness funding transfer, which was funded by DWP, is now funded as part of the local government settlement.

“The change is not significant enough to change what will be a challenging budget and leaves the county council as joint bottom of the funding table for the 22 Welsh local authorities.

“The increase will make little difference amid continuing Government austerity measures which continue to remove funding from public service bodies. The Council will therefore need to reduce spending by at least £22m during the coming three financial years, 2017-2020.

“As a council we are charged with producing a balanced budget every year and the forthcoming budget discussions are like to be some of the most difficult faced by the council for some time. We will have to careful balance the needs of services against the resident’s ability to pay.

“But, it is very likely that there will need to be a rise in council tax rates in order to retain and safeguard valued front line services.”

Residents can comment on how the council reduces spending by £22m by taking part in the online budget balancing exercise.

The online consultation exercise, which starts runs to January 15, 2017, sets out a range of options that could be used to generate savings over the coming three financial years.

Participants can show their support for services by increasing or decreasing funding support and seeing the impact on the service and council’s overall budget. A new feature allows people to comment on the level of council tax.

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