Newport City Council’s Cabinet will meet next week to discuss options for the 2019/20 budget.
The council provides more than 800 services for more than 151,000 people living in more than 65,000 households.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “We have been absolutely consistent in our message – the challenge in local government has been growing over many years now and while cuts have been made across the public sector, there is no doubt that we have taken the brunt.
“The pressures and demands we are facing continue to grow – and show absolutely no sign of diminishing in the future. Despite this, the funding we receive has stayed more or less the same and that means the gap between the money we get and what we have to spend keeps getting bigger. In 2019/20 the council faces a shortfall of over £15 million to fund the same level of services.
“Many services are being stretched almost to breaking point but we have fewer staff and resources to meet ever-increasing needs.”
The main pressures in Newport include:
Councillor Wilcox added: “We have already made significant savings and efficiencies – £45 million over the last five years. Although there are more incredibly difficult decisions that will have to be made for the coming year, we are actually in a stronger position than many other councils. Several years of changing the way we work and delivering services in new and innovative ways has certainly been to our credit.
“The real challenge however is that we want to do more than just provide the basic services that we have to provide by law – we want to ensure Newport is an attractive place to live, thereby attracting employers and creating jobs. That is why we must also make sure we invest in a strategic way.”
Areas of investment that will be considered by Cabinet include:
The council budget this year for day-to-day spending on services – not one-off or capital projects – is £275 million. However, due to ongoing public sector austerity, even more ‘new’ savings must still be found – at least £33m by 2023.
Cabinet will consider a number of proposals that seek to deliver a balanced budget at their meeting on Wednesday 12 December - https://democracy.newport.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=139&MId=7094&Ver=4
Following that meeting, a full public consultation will take place until 30 January 2019. More information will be available at www.newport.gov.uk/budget including an online survey.