Our Executive Board has considered the 2020/21 budget and will now recommended to Council a budget of £250.2 million and a 6.95% increase in Council Tax.
As everyone is aware we have been making cuts and efficiencies to our services since 2007 and services were reaching “tipping point”. Without improvements to funding from national government then critical services would begin to fall down.
“Investment in services for the first time in a decade”
The provisional settlement announced in December gave Wrexham a small increase which has meant that, for the next financial year, it will allow for investment in services for the first time in a decade.
We will be able to put an additional resources into our priorities which include £0.5m into schools, and £0.5m into social care to deal with demand pressure, £1m into highways maintenance to specifically address potholes, over £1.5 million into children and young people services which includes £1m into children’s social care and £0.5m into education to support plans for improvement.
“Budget settlement … is not what the people in Wrexham deserve”
Cllr Mark Pritchard, Leader of the Council, said: “Whilst the funding settlement was very welcome we are by no means out of austerity and have to continue to look at our services and also at what residents expect of us. The budget settlement whilst better than expected is not what the people in Wrexham deserve and we will continue to lobby for improved funding for services into the next year.”
“I would like to thank officers for continuing to deliver services whilst under immense financial pressures.”
Mark Owen, Chief Officer Finance & ICT, warned that “Wrexham was likely to have a lower than average Settlement, not just in the next financial year but for the following year 2021/22 also.
“The Council’s spend is over £6 million below the Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) which is the amount of money calculated by Welsh Government that the Authority needs to spend on its services.
“Lowest Band D Council Tax levels in Wales and England”
“The Council Tax increase recommended for 2020/21 may appear high, but it will not change the Council’s position of being in the group of authorities having the lowest Band D Council Tax levels in Wales and England. Going forward the Council must move up out of this group if it is to continue to deliver the mandatory services required of it.”
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