This is Our Moment - Meeting the Financial Challenge in Flintshire
Public engagement events 16 November - 7 December 2015
Local services and community facilities are under threat because of big
reductions in public spending. Flintshire County Council is calling on the
public to stand up for their local services by working with the Council to meet
the financial challenge.
It will hold a series of public engagement events starting in November when
people can hear how they can get involved in shaping services for the future
and make their views count in the budget debate.
The Council needs to significantly reduce its budget and make unprecedented
changes to the way services are delivered in light of substantial government
funding reductions year on year.
This comes at a time when the Council is facing unavoidable increases in costs
and demand for services. An efficient and innovative Council, Flintshire has a
strong track record of managing within its available funding, saving over £22m
in the past three years. In doing so, key services such as maintaining roads,
keeping communities clean and tidy, leisure centres, local schools, welfare
support and services for older people, vulnerable children and those with
disabilities have been protected.
But between now and 2018 the forecast is bleak with the Council facing a
further budget gap of £53m. This year alone £18.3m has been saved towards this
target, and a serious ‘tipping point’ has now been reached. The Council has
published a detailed Medium Term Financial Strategy setting out how it
proposes to meet the challenges ahead. It needs the support of Welsh
Government and the public to achieve it.
Council Leader Aaron Shotton said: We are one of the lowest funded Councils in
Wales and charge around the Welsh average for Council Tax, but this low funding
level combined with the effects of the continuing UK austerity agenda does
expose us to particularly high levels of budget reductions.
Flintshire has been creative in absorbing budget cuts in recent years through
careful planning, being efficient, finding innovative solutions, and reducing
back office costs to protect front-line services. The Council has now reached a
‘tipping point’ where services will be exposed to major cuts without some
relief from Welsh Government.
We are working hard to find solutions, and believe we can save around £14m of
the £21m needed next year. If we can work with Welsh Government to find
further solutions for example limiting the amount of grant we will lose, and
receiving a share of the new funding for health to directly fund preventative
social care services, then we believe we can make a big step forward in
bridging this funding gap. Without these solutions, services we have so far
been able to protect will be at risk.
Chief Executive Colin Everett added: This is the moment for the public to
get involved. We are already supporting and working with local people to
find local solutions to provide services and are encouraged by the response so
far. But much more needs to be done and local communities have a big
opportunity to play their part and take on local facilities and services the
County Council may no longer be able to provide. We want to work with people
to explore these opportunities as partners together.
People can register to attend one of seven public engagement events being held
at venues across the County starting on 16 November.
People need to register to attend now as numbers will be limited to 200 at each
venue. They can do this by going on line at www.flintshire.gov.uk/OurMoment or
by telephoning a special registration line on 01352 701701 from 9am to 5pm,
Monday to Friday.
The events will be from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the following locations:
Monday, November 16: Elfed High School, Buckley
Tuesday, November 17: Ysgol Gwynedd, Flint
Wednesday, November 18: Holywell High School
Monday, November 23: Ysgol Bryn Coch,Mold
Tuesday, November 24: Broughton CP School
Thursday,December 3: Civic Hall, Connahs Quay
Monday, December 7 : Sandycroft CP School