ANGLESEY residents are being urged to have their say on cuts to services and rises in council tax, as the county council looks to balance another difficult budget.
The Isle of Anglesey County Council’s executive is proposing efficiency savings and a council tax increase of between four and five per cent to plug a £2 million funding gap.
On Monday, November 6, its members agreed to undertake a seven-week public consultation on the 2018-19 budget proposals.
They include cutting low demand bus services, reducing culture grants, making more use of electric and LPG vehicles and selling advertising on the council’s website to generate income.
The ‘Meeting the Challenges: Our Initial Budget Proposals for 2018-19’ consultation began on Tuesday, and runs until December 29.
The wide-ranging public consultation will include meetings with town and community councils; a citizen’s panel, young people and stakeholder workshops; web surveys and use of social media to gauge public opinion.
Council leader Llinos Medi, is encouraging Anglesey residents to have their say in the budget consultation.
“We’ve identified around £3m in efficiencies and income generation proposals,” she said. “It is likely that each of these proposals, if adopted as part of the council’s final budget for 2018-19, could affect the island’s residents and communities.
“We’re eager to hear people’s views about these proposals, and whether we should increase council tax by an extra one per cent to help protect social services?”
The executive’s medium term financial plan for 2018-19 is based on a four per cent council tax increase.
However, it is also proposing an extra one per cent increase to council tax (five per cent increase in total), with that funding set aside to meet the growing pressures in social services.
Cllr Medi added: “Many of our services face increasing demand at a time when there are less resources – none more so that our social services, which cares for the most vulnerable in society.
“An extra one per cent increase on council tax could be one way of helping.”
Finance portfolio holder Cllr John Griffith said: “The provisional financial settlement from the Welsh Government for 2018-19 showed an overall drop in funding for local authorities.
“Anglesey is getting less and less money from Welsh Government, yet we still face new responsibilities and greater demands on services.”
Visit www.anglesey.gov.uk/budgetconsultation, email email@example.com or write to: Meeting the Challenges: Budget consultation 2018/19, Chief executive’s office, Isle of Anglesey County Council, Council offices, Llangefni, LL77 7TW.