Posted: Wed 24th Feb 2016

​Public consultation helps shape final Budget proposals /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 24th, 2016

Public feedback has played an important role in shaping final Budget proposals which go before the Anglesey Executive on Tuesday, March 1st. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Authority has identified service savings totalling more than £3.5m as it seeks to balance its most challenging budget to date, following a significant drop in Welsh Government funding. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

However, careful financial management, together with public feedback provided during a recent budget consultation will ensure education and social services are afforded greater protection and a Council Tax increase lower than expected. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Finance portfolio holder, Councillor Hywel Eifion Jones, explained, “With Anglesey facing a 2% funding cut from Welsh Government, this has certainly been our most challenging budget to date. There have been significant savings across the board, but we’ve worked hard to protect frontline services and reflect public aspirations into our final Budget proposals.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Education spending was a priority during the consultation. We have been able to meet the Welsh Government’s requirement to increase school budgets by 1.85% and are proposing to use £500,000 of central education funding in 2016/17 to further assist schools. This will give them time to reduce costs through improved procurement and reviewing non-teaching costs. Children and Adult Services will also be given an extra £800,000 to meet growing service demands.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He added, “We’ve also listened to the public’s views on keeping Council Tax as low as possible and we’re now proposing a 3.5% increase rather than 4.5%.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

If adopted by the Full Council on March 10th, Anglesey’s Council Tax will remain one of the lowest in Wales with an average Band ‘D’ bill standing at £1,061.46 – which will equate to a weekly increase of 69p compared to 2015/16 (excluding North Wales Police and Community Council precepts, which are set separately). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Council Leader, Cllr Ieuan Williams, added, “Our main aim during this year’s Budget deliberations has been to continue protecting front line services to the best of our ability and transforming other key services to ensure that they are still delivered, albeit in a different way in the future.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We still face a difficult financial future and it’s likely that the County Council will have to find another £10m in savings between 2017 and 2020.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Ensuring future savings will therefore be vital and the Executive is also proposing to set aside £1m from general balances to support business transformation projects. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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