Gwynedd Council sets budget for 2018/19
Gwynedd councillors have approved the authority’s budget for the 2018/19 financial year at a meeting of the full Council on 8 March. The aim of the financial strategy for 2018/19 is to protect Council services for local people.
Over the coming 12 months, the Council forecasts that it will need £243 million to deliver a wide-range of local services, with £175 million of this sum funded through a grant from the Welsh Government, with the remaining £68 million raised through Council Tax.
The Council will continue to deliver vital public services for local people, despite the growing demand and the fact that the money received from the government towards the cost of Council services is falling well short of inflation.
Rather than making knee-jerk decisions on more service cuts, Gwynedd councillors have agreed a Council Tax increase of 4.8% from April. This means that bills for an average Band D property will go up by £59.57 for the year, or £1.15 a week.
Councillor Peredur Jenkins, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance said: “The Council delivers a wide-range of local services - from schools and care for vulnerable children and adults, to libraries roads maintenance and waste collection services.
“Once again this year, the grant from the government, raised by only £1 million, has not kept up with the £7 million net increase in the cost of providing local public services.
“Despite making savings of £2.8 million, we have had to increase the Council Tax in order to protect services that are important for local people. We have carefully planned for the long-term, and this means that between now and April 2019 we won’t have to make any additional service cuts beyond those already agreed.
“However, the financial outlook for the future is extremely bleak and unless the Welsh Government ensures that local government receives its fair share by 2019/20 and beyond, there will be no option but to identify further savings, possibly of up to £20 million over the coming three years.
“Later in the autumn, we will be inviting local people to have their say on options to deliver savings for 2019. This will allow us to minimise any cuts to Council services, and ensure that relevant decisions are based on the priorities of Gwynedd residents.”