Posted: Wed 10th Feb 2016

Budget Reaction /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2016

News that Powys is to benefit from additional Welsh Government funding in the coming financial year has been welcomed by the county council’s cabinet. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Welsh Government Finance Minister Jane Hutt today (Tuesday) announced that three rural councils would receive additional funding with Powys receiving £1.9m as part of the annual budget settlement. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Leader of Powys County Council, Councillor Barry Thomas said; “I am very pleased at today’s announcement of additional funding for Powys, the county had received the lowest settlement in the Wales with a 4.1 per cent cut in funding. The additional funding will help a great deal but will not solve all of our problems, and we still face very challenging savings targets over the next 3 or 4 years. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I am very grateful to all of the Mid and West Wales Assembly Members for their support on this issue and in particular the work of Montgomeryshire Am Russell George AM and Welsh Liberal Democratic Leader Kirsty Williams for their involvement in bringing about this additional funding.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Wynne Jones said; “As a result of the additional funding we at last now know the level of cuts facing the council and we are now able to take forward budget proposals to the cabinet on February 18. The proposals will include savings of £29.7m over a three year period to produce a balanced budget. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The Welsh Government’s funding announcement will provide an additional £1.9m in the coming year and will mean that a number of very difficult proposals can be withdrawn. We will be taking forward a proposal that we no longer pursue plans to introduce transport charges for post-16 learners or take forward plans for further rural transport funding reductions and plans to move to a four-weekly collection of residual waste. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Plans to make further cuts to rural bus services will also not be taken forward in the three year plan and the proposed cut in grant funding for Tourist Information Services has also been dropped from the 2016/17 budget, although there will be a 15 per cent cut in those grants. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I am delighted to say that that the proposal will also include the provision of an extra £1.2m for the schools delegated budget and an additional £1.05m for adult social services. Powys still faces a very difficult financial period but the Welsh Government’s recognition that it needs additional support is most welcome.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The council will consider its annual budget on February 25 and set the level of council tax for the coming financial year on March 9. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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