Posted: Wed 14th Feb 2024

Extra £570,000 to be Invested in Powys Schools as Welsh Government Increases Funding

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 14th, 2024

AN extra £570,000 is expected to be ploughed into Powys schools as more funding from Welsh Government is set to be given to local authorities.
At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Liberal Democrat/Labour Cabinet on Tuesday, February 13 senior councillors took another look at their draft budget for 2024/2025.
This included a budgets amendment after deciding what to do with the extra money from the Welsh Government.
The extra funding comes from a mechanism known as a Barnett consequential – this comes from the equation used to decide the level of devolved government funding for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland which comes from the UK treasury and is based on population figures.
In January, the UK government decided to pump an extra £600 million into local authorities in England and the corresponding funding to Wales equates to £25 million.
The letter from the Welsh Government to local authorities explains that of this £25 million – £10.6 million will go towards social care workers that had been previously cut.
The equivalent of £400,000 would be allocated from this funding to go towards the social care workforce in Powys.
The remaining £14.4 million will become part of the revenue support grant allocation from the Welsh Government to local authorities.
Cabinet member for finance, Labour Cllr David Thomas said that the council had received the letter informing them of the extra cash from the Welsh Government on February 7.
Cllr Thomas said: “The provisional settlement sees Powys receive around four per cent of the overall revenue support grant.
“Based on this we can expect to receive a similar consequential funding which is estimated to be £570,000.
“The amendment to the budget proposed is that cabinet approve in principle that any additional funding as a result of the consequential in full to the schools delegated budget.”
But he warned that even adding this £570,000 would not cover all pay and inflationary pressures across schools next year.
Education portfolio holder, Liberal Democrat Cllr Pete Roberts said: “We have taken a very pragmatic decision to pass this through to schools.
“I don’t think it hides the fact there is insufficient funding into local government to fully fund every service at the moment.
“To say we were lobbied strongly to put the additional resources in the school sector if additional resources cam would be an understatement.
“I am very pleased to see my colleague’s backing schools.”
The £570,000 will be added to the increase of £3.6 million which is to go to schools in the 2024/2025 budget.
This means that the overall share of the schools budget will be £88 million of a total Powys budget of £341.2 million.
Despite this extra funding, the council has predicted a £2.5 million shortfall due to the result of higher pay and utilities cost.
Conservative group leader, Cllr Aled Davies welcomed the extra funding from the UK Government via the Welsh Government.
Cllr Davies said: “It is important to try and close the funding gap in the schools which stood at £2.5 million – this will reduce it to nearer £2 million but it still leaves some schools in a difficult position.”
Cabinet unanimously approved the amendment which and the draft budget is set to be debated at a full council meeting on Thursday. February 22. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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