Council tax rise and more cuts alert as authority bids to balance books

Reporter:

Dale Spridgeon

COUNCIL tax might rise and more services could be cut on Anglesey as its cash-strapped council seeks ways to save
£19 million.

The Isle of Anglesey County Council has to find the savings to balance its budget over the last five years and its financial outlook remains “bleak”, according to its leader Cllr Llinos Medi.

She says the island authority might have to find further savings of more than £8m over the next three years.

The council’s executive will consider its medium term financial plan 2018/19-2020/21 on Monday next week with a public consultation on the 2018/19 budget to be held later this year.

The Welsh Government will give councils an idea of how much they have to spend during 2018/19 in October and the UK Government’s main budget statement – revealing, amongst other things, how much the Welsh Government will receive – will be delivered in November.

Cllr Medi said: “We’re expecting the bleak financial outlook for local government to continue and less funding for 2018/19.

“We expect less funding from Welsh Government, whilst costs will continue to rise as a result of inflation and increasing demands for our services.

“We’ll have to change the way in which some services are delivered; and there could also be an increase to fees and another above-inflation council tax increase.”

She added: “These are not messages that we want to hear, but this is the stark position Anglesey and every other local authority in Wales is in.

“We will continue to prioritise services we have a legal duty to provide, like social services and education, but cuts of this scale will, undoubtedly, have an impact on all services we provide to the people of Anglesey.”

The Welsh Government’s budget for 2017/18 was £14.6 billion, with around £7bn (48 per cent) allocated to health and £4.3bn (30 per cent) being allocated to local government.

Since 2009/10, funding for the health service in Wales has increased by 16 per cent, whereas funding for local government has fallen by 18 per cent.

Isle of Anglesey Council finance portfolio holder Cllr John Griffith said: “We’ll push hard for the best deal possible for council services.

“We’ll have to make the best possible use out of the funding we do get; and there will be an important role for the people of Anglesey to play in deciding what we prioritise.

“It’s vital that they have their say on our 2018/19 budget proposals.”

The executive meeting will take place at 10am on Monday and can be followed live via the authority’s webcast facility.

Email:

dale.spridgeon@nwn.co.uk

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Most Read