Cyngor Gwynedd yn gosod cyllideb ar gyfer 2023/24
Cyngor Gwynedd has set a budget for the financial year 2023/24 which reflects its commitment to ensuring services meet residents’ needs in communities across the county despite the significant financial challenges facing councils across Wales.
Cyngor Gwynedd has recieved an increase of 7%, or £14.6 million, in the grant it receives from Welsh Government for 2023/24. This however falls short of what is needed to maintain local services at current levels, as the Council’s revenue costs have increased £27 million since setting last year’s budget.
At a meeting of the Full Council on 2 March Council members resolved to bridge the gap by implementing £5.2 million of efficiency savings and increasing Council Tax by 4.95% for 2023/24. This Council Tax increase equates to an additional £1.45 a week or £75.59 annually for a Band D property.
Councillors agreed to the recommendation to set a budget of £318million for 2023/24, £228million of which will come from the Government Grant and £90million from Council Tax. Members also agreed to establish a capital programme of £67.7million to fund schemes such as school improvements and housing schemes over the coming 12 months.
Councillor Ioan Thomas, Cyngor Gwynedd’s Finance Cabinet member said: “The Westminster Government’s financial decisions back in the autumn continue to send shockwaves through local government with councils across the country wrestling with inflated energy, goods and staffing costs.
“While Cyngor Gwynedd is in a stable financial position relative to most councils thanks to sound financial planning over many years, we are not immune to UK-wide economic problems and difficult decisions have had to be made.
“Whilst we have kept the increase in Council Tax to a minimum, we are very aware that any increase may cause difficulties to households which are already struggling.
“We would urge anyone who finds themselves struggling to keep up with their Council Tax payments or other bills to seek out help, there is information available on the Council website www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/CostOfLiving.”
Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn, Leader of Cyngor Gwynedd, added: “The cost of living crisis means that Council services are seeing a surge in demand and costs. For example, we are spending £32,000 more due to an increase in the number of children being looked after by our social services and the homelessness services is costing us £6 million more than it did this time last year.
“Since the extent of the financial challenge became apparent in the autumn of 2022, additional savings of £6.4 million have been found across all Cyngor Gwynedd departments, which will be implemented over more than one financial year, but starting from next month onwards.
“Thankfully, we have also been able to allocate the additional income from increasing the Council Tax Premium on second homes to tackle homelessness and the savings identified will have the least possible impact on frontline services.
“There may be no end in sight to the financial pressures facing Cyngor Gwynedd, all of us as members of this Council are determined to continue to protect our most vulnerable residents and key services as best we can.”
Forecasts suggest there will be further pressure as the Council aims to set a balanced budget for 2024/25. Despite these challenges, the council remains committed to using public funds responsibly and efficiently to ensure that taxpayers receive maximum value for money.
Cyngor Gwynedd has already found savings to the value of more than £33.5 million since 2015/16 through various schemes.