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Councillors set to review budget

Published: 08/09/2023

Members of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet on Thursday to receive an update on the council’s budget position for 2024/25.

This follows on from a meeting in July where members were advised of an additional budget requirement of around £32 million for the financial year.

Since then, further work has been undertaken to identify potential funding solutions which currently amount to around £18m – leaving a remaining gap of £14m.

Corporate finance manager, Gary Ferguson, said: “The council clearly has a major budget challenge for the financial year 2024/25 if there is no movement in the indicative uplift in the settlement of 3.1% from Welsh Government.

“At this stage the amount remaining to be found to reach a legal and balanced budget is £14m and the council will need to urgently consider further cost reductions of significant scale to bridge that gap as a matter of priority.”

However, several risks were also identified which could put further pressure on the budget.

The homelessness service is continuing to see increasing numbers presenting for support and the projected overspend in the current financial year has increased to £2.4m over the summer.

Ongoing pressures in social care and the review of the Waste Strategy is also likely to impact on costs, as well as the outcome of pay awards which are still subject to negotiation and agreed nationally.

Councillor Paul Johnson, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Flintshire County Council will be continuing to make strong representations to Welsh Government for a better settlement. We will be  working alongside all Welsh councils through the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) on this, although we acknowledge and appreciate that Welsh Government itself also has a challenging budget situation to deal with.

“To ensure that our council can protect its future financial position and is prepared for subsequent and inevitable future budget challenges, we will need to consider measures which could include the radical development and transformation of the services we provide.”

 The cost pressures and cost reductions identified to date will now be considered by relevant overview and scrutiny committees.