Provisional settlement and council fund budget
Flintshire County Council Cabinet will consider a report on the provisional
settlement and council fund budget when it meets on 15 November.
Flintshire is an efficient and innovative council but is a low funded council
which offers few opportunities to bridge the funding “gap” through local
Despite being a low funded Council, Flintshire has shown itself to be a solid
performer in the standards to which it provides local services, with excellence
in key services such as education and social care.
Flintshire is being recognised nationally as a Council which is being
innovative in finding new solutions that are both cost efficient and resilient
and are sustainable for the future.
These solutions include setting up “NEW Homes”, a company providing homes for
local people and SHARP, (Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme), which
has seen the first new council homes in a generation being built (the first in
Wales) and securing the future of leisure facilities such as Connah’s Quay
swimming pool by establishing a community-based management solution. However,
as the opportunity for such innovations diminish, the money the Council has at
its disposal also diminishes.
Our funding strategy has three parts:
1. Council takes responsibility for continuing to reform and modernise local
services – all services, except education and social care, have 30% cost
reductions to find over 3 years.
2. Council takes responsibility for the prudent use of corporate finances.
3. Council sets realistic expectations about what we can expect to receive from
the Welsh Government, our principal funder
Councils in Wales are heavily dependent on government grant to fund what they
do. More so in Wales than in England. This is why, within our three part
strategy, we are calling for greater freedoms from Welsh Government for the
Council to be able to be entrepreneurial.
The Council has previously advised of an estimated ‘budget gap’ of £14.4m for
the financial year 2017/18
Through a combination of further service reform proposals, continuing effective
financial stewardship and a better than anticipated provisional grant
settlement this gap has now reduced to in the region of £2m.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Aaron Shotton, said:
“These are challenging times for both local councils and the Welsh Government.
If we are to find a way through this with our vital local services still
intact, councils need to work closely with the government and we plan to do
that to find joint solutions.”
The Council is currently running a series of public engagement meetings
throughout the County. Four successful events have already taken place, there
are still three to go and we encourage you to come along. The details are:
14 November: Sandycroft CP School
15 November: Broughton CP School
21 November: Ysgol Caer Nant, Connahs Quay
The meetings will run from 6:30-8:30pm. You can register online at
www.flintshire.gov.uk/YCYS or by phoning our registration line on 01352 701701
between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
A summary of our Medium Term Financial Strategy is also available on our
website on the “Our Flintshire, Our Future” page.
This strategy inevitably concentrates on 2017/2018 as the next budget year we
need to plan for. Equally, we have an eye on 2018/2019 and subsequent budget
years in planning ahead in a responsible and sustainable way. The Council will
be issuing further statements as the budget is finalised - including the need
for improved funding for Flintshire as part of a reform of public sector and
local government funding.