Statement by the Leader of the Council and Chief Executive - 20 November 2018

Flintshire County Council is calling on residents, businesses and local organisations to support our campaign #BacktheAsk.

The campaign, to be launched at the Council’s meeting on Tuesday 20 November, is pressing for fair funding for local government and for Flintshire. The campaign is not a party political campaign and can be backed by anyone who cares about local government and local services.

Every year councils have to set a budget which balances their resources with their spending needs.  Flintshire, like all councils, has had reduced funding from governments year on year for a decade.  Flintshire, as one of the lowest funded councils per head of population in Wales, is particularly exposed to the effects of austerity.

The ongoing national budget position is not sustainable. Local services are under serious threat. Through a combination of being inventive, making best use of resources, and having great support from our communities in coping with change and taking on more responsibility for providing services for themselves, we in Flintshire have been able to get through. 2019/20 might be the year that the budget challenge is just too great for us all.

Flintshire is facing yet another cut in our Welsh Government grant and has no protection against the costs of inflation, national pay awards and the rapidly increasing demands for services such as social care. We are facing a budget gap of over £15m in 2019/20.  

Councillor Aaron Shotton, Leader of Flintshire County Council, said:

“Along with other Welsh local authorities and the Welsh Local Government Association we are calling for Welsh Government to fully recognise the importance of the services that councils provide - such as education and social care. These services should be at the heart of the Government’s priorities. Beyond a financial intervention by Welsh Government, the only remaining options to balance the budget are Council Tax and drawing upon reserves, neither of which are sustainable options.

“If you #BacktheAsk, you will be helping your council to get its fair share of national funds whilst at the same time helping to defend our schools and care services from continued austerity.”

Flintshire’s Chief Executive, Colin Everett, said:

“We have managed to find a further £8.5M of budget solutions - if we include a proposed Council Tax rise of 4.5% - but still have another £6.7M to find.  #BacktheAsk is asking Welsh Government for £5.6m more funding for Flintshire.  If they agree, then we can protect local services and keep Council Tax rises down.”

Get involved – here’s how:

Visit the Council’s website to find more information about how reducing budgets are affecting local services.

Pledge support for #BacktheAsk by emailing or writing to your local Assembly Members and Members of Parliament asking for fairer funding for all councils.

Leave messages of support by going to our campaign on Twitter @FlintshireCC