Local government settlement statement
Flintshire County Council joins the WLGA and other Councils in Wales in expressing its grave concern at the provisional local government settlement - whilst recognising the limitations within which the Cabinet Secretary is working.
The Council had pressed for a cash flat settlement and additional investment in social care and education. A reduction of 0.9% poses a real threat to the continuity of frontline services which we have fought successfully to protect in recent years.
For three consecutive years, Flintshire County Council, as a low-funded council per head under the funding formula, has set out why councils in this position are particularly exposed to the ongoing impacts of austerity.
We had forecast a funding gap for the Council of £11.7M. The gap has now increased by £1.6M, with no national support for key services, as a result of this settlement.
The Council continues to find innovative ways of saving money and is already proposing £3M of service efficiencies for next year. When Cabinet meets on 24 October, a further statement will be issued on how we might close in on our budget target for 2018/19.
The Leader of Flintshire County Council, Councillor Aaron Shotton, said:
'I would echo the views of the Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary in calling for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to announce a reversal of the UK Government's austerity programme which would then provide additional funding from which Wales would benefit, particularly for social care and education.
'Unless the UK Government makes this reversal, Flintshire County Council and other councils in Wales face a major challenge to set a balanced budget next year. Councils should not be placed in this position.'