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More council services likely to be cut

Created on 26/02/2018 @ 16:42
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Non-statutory services and the level of statutory provision provided by Powys County Council could be cut or even end in some cases.

Last week the council agreed to a five per cent increase in Council Tax. This follows Newtown Town Council's decision to increase its precept by 20 per cent.

The council says the extra five per cent will generate an additional £3.5 million to support key services, will cost the average band D payer an extra £56.63 for the year.

Band D properties will now be charged £1189.20 Council Tax. The figure does not include town and community council and police precepts which will be included when the council tax has final approval in March.

However, today the council has said that it will begin an immediate review into the way it delivers services in order to cut costs further.

This could see some services it does not legally have to provide cut back or even ended. This could include a range of services, such as libraries, sport and other services.

Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Aled Davies said: “Like all county councils in Wales we are facing increasing costs as a result of extra demand on services, at a time when resources are under severe pressure.
“As a council we are responsible for protecting the most vulnerable, and clearly some of our services have been found wanting. The additional revenue will be used to help support key services, particularly children and adult social services. We must look after the most vulnerable in society and restore confidence in those services.
“We know our schools are facing challenging financial times and our plans will provide an additional £1m to help them with inflationary pressures."

He added: “Powys along with nine other councils will see a cut in the funding it receives from Welsh Government in April. It takes a 2.4 per cent increase in Powys Council Tax just to replace every percent cut from Welsh Government – who provide 70 per cent of our funding. Council tax payers in Powys fund the remaining 30%, few local authorities in Wales have to self-fund to that level.
“Our net budget this year will increase from £240 million to £247 million due to that essential investment. But, we face a £17 million shortfall for £2019/20 budget and the scale of action required in the next years to meet that challenge will drive huge change across the council.
"We simply cannot afford the council in its current form we will have to transform the way we deliver services. We will have to reconsider the delivery of non-statutory services and re-assess the level of statutory provision. That work will start immediately. 
“Our future plans will include capital investment throughout the county, it is important that we continue to renew core infrastructure such as schools and housing. Maintaining the capital programme is vital for the regeneration of the county’s economy as well as reducing the council’s running costs,” he added.

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