Denbighshire County Council has responded to the draft budget settlement announced by the Welsh Government, stating that the settlement is ‘deeply disappointing but not completely unexpected’.
Today (Tuesday), the Welsh Government announced a draft settlement of -0.5% for Denbighshire, which results in a significant budget gap of £11.5 million for 2019/2020.
Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, said: “We are deeply disappointed in the draft settlement for Denbighshire as there is a significant gap between what is being put on the table and the actual funds needed to deliver core services. Of course we were naturally expecting reductions in funding, that was inevitable in the current climate and every council is Wales is facing cuts, but this settlement is disappointing news for Denbighshire.
“With all of the additional costs the council has to fund, such as new responsibilities, growing demand on services, and increases in pay and pensions costs over which the council has no control, the cut in real terms is significantly greater than -0.5%”.
"We now face choices on core services that we never imagined we would have to make, but that is the reality of the position.
“We have worked tirelessly over recent years to prepare and respond to the financial challenges, whilst minimising the impact of cuts and that hard work has paid dividends in protecting key frontline services as far as possible. However, the finances are getting tighter year on year and we have passed the stage where efficiencies and a different way of working is enough to balance the books.
“Budgets are being squeezed so much that services are feeling the effects and providing the levels of services the public want and expect is proving to be more difficult as times go on.
“Whatever the Council’s position, we are making a firm commitment that we will continue to provide the best value quality services that we can with the resources available to us”.
“The Council will now consider the actual implications on the budget in detail”.