Gwynedd Council's 2021/22 Budget
Gwynedd councillors have set their annual budget for the 2021/22 financial year that will ensure that vital services are protected for local people.
Despite the significant financial pressures that the Council has endured over the past 12 months due to the effects of Covid-19, firm financial management means that the authority has been able to avoid the need for knee-jerk cuts to services for the 2021/22 financial year.
Gwynedd has secured a funding increase from the Welsh Government which will cover the cost of inflation for the year ahead. However, this funding alone will not be enough to meet the cost of delivering the local services that Gwynedd residents require, due to increases in demand.
At a meeting of the full Council on 4 March, councillors agreed to address a funding gap of £3.5 million by continuing to deliver savings that have already been identified and by increasing Council Tax by 3.7%. This increase – which equates to an additional £1.02 for an average (Band D) property - is likely to be close to the average for the 22 Welsh councils.
Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Ioan Thomas said:
“The past financial year has seen Gwynedd Council overcoming unprecedented challenges to continue to deliver the services that local people need. Unfortunately, the financial pressures associated with Covid-19 are likely to be felt for the foreseeable future and certainly for the financial year ahead.
“Given this, we welcome the fact that the Welsh Government has decided to reimburse a significant proportion of the additional costs the Council has and will continue to incur due to the pandemic.
“The effects of the pandemic has meant that it has been very difficult to deliver some of our planned savings over the past 12 months as, during this time, protecting the health and lives of the people of Gwynedd has rightly been the Council’s priority.
“As a result, the Council has decided to increase Council Tax this year by 3.7% to bridge the remaining £3.5 million gap. This increase will allow us to continue to deliver the services that are most important to the people of Gwynedd over the coming 12 months.”
At the full Council meeting, councillors also decided to increase the Council Tax Premium on second homes and long term empty properties from 50% to 100% for the 2021/22 financial year. This decision is expected to generate an additional £3 million of additional tax yield to be earmarked for expansion of the Housing Strategy.
The Housing Action Plan currently being implemented was financed by the 50% Premium’s tax yield. It was approved at the Cabinet meeting of 15 December 2020 and aims to provide housing for young people in our communities.
Details about Council Tax, including information about the help available for those having difficulty paying and the discounts you may be entitled to are available at www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/counciltax