Preparing for difficult financial times
A report that will be considered by Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet recommends that the authority continues to make every possible effort to identify and deliver any further efficiency savings so that extra cuts to services are kept to the absolute minimum.
Having analysed a large number of potential outcomes, the Council is projecting that it could need to deliver savings of anywhere between £8.5 million and £17.5 million in 2019/20 and 2020/21.
Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Peredur Jenkins said:
“Over the past 12 years, Gwynedd Council has managed to achieve £62 million of savings. This is equivilent to 25% of the authority’s current annual budget.
“As has been the case for many years, it is highly unlikely that the money Gwynedd Council receives from the government will be enough to cover the cost of inflation let alone the increasing demand for services such as social care for vulnerable people in the years ahead.
“At the moment, the size of the funding gap we will need to address over the next two years is not known, but we estimate that it is likely to be between £8.5 million and £17.5 million.
“In the past, a strategy based on planning well ahead to identify savings has served us well. However, as we will not know the level of grant support we will receive from the government for 2019/20 until the autumn, it is being recommended that we wait until then before deciding on the savings schemes that should be implemented. This approach will avoid the need to raise unneccesary concerns before the extent of the financial challenge is confirmed.
“In the meantime, the Council’s services are continuing to look in detail at any additional savings that they may be able to deliver from 2019/20 onwards, so that they are ready to be considered by councillors this autumn.
“As always, the priority will be to take every available opportunity to achieve efficiency savings rather than implementing cuts to services.”
The matter will be considered by the Council Cabinet on 22 May.