On October 9, we at Wrexham Council will receive our provisional budget settlement from the Welsh Government.
Fearing the worst the Council’s leadership has been actively preparing in an effort to try and mitigate the full impact on front-line services.
We believe that if a fair funding settlement is provided by Welsh Government, we will be able to achieve this for the year 2019/20 – although will face significant challenges in the 2020/21 financial year.
Work led by the Council includes completing the first stage of a senior management review that will -if approved in November – make significant savings for the next financial year. And we’ve made – and will continue to make – representations to Welsh Government on behalf of schools to ensure salaries and other costs are fully funded.
Once the announcement has been made by Welsh Government, the Council intends, as we have in previous years, to consult the public as part of our Difficult Decisions budget consultation. The theme this year will be ‘pulling together to support Wrexham’s essential services’.
“Essential services could be put at risk”
Cllr Mark Prichard, Leader of the Council and Lead Member for Finance, said: “We are, through our hard work, trying to support Wrexham’s essential services such as adult and children’s social care and school budgets.
“In past years, we have made significant savings and cuts to services while minimising the impact on front-line essential services.
But if we don’t get a fair settlement from Welsh Government we will not be able to manage this for 2019/20. These essential services could be put at risk.
“If we do receive a fair settlement, we will then be keen to hear from residents as part of the Difficult Decisions consultation about how we can balance such issues as Council Tax and future delivery of services – such as waste and library services – in a way that will means with the settlement we won’t have to make severe cuts in essential services.
“None of us as politicians or senior officers came into public service wanting to have to deal with these types of issues, but until austerity and poor budget settlements stop, we will as leaders of the council do the best we can on behalf of residents.”
Wrexham Council has made £33.8m of savings and cuts in the last five years and nearly £60m since the economic crisis began in 2007/08.
More than three quarters of these savings have been achieved with minimal impact on the majority of the public, and without drastically reducing the range of essential services provided. The council now believes it is a tipping point where if the settlement is not fair, or if difficult decisions cannot be agreed with the public, essential services will be put at risk.GET RECYCLING TIPS