Posted: Sat 6th Jan 2024

Pembrokeshire’s Projected Budget Funding Gap Increases by over £1m Following Lower-Than-Expected Welsh Government Settlement

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jan 6th, 2024

Pembrokeshire’s projected budget funding gap for 2024-25 has increased by more than £1m, to £28.4m, following a lower-than-expected settlement from Welsh Government.
At the January 8 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, members will receive a report on the Provisional Local Government Settlement for 2024-25.
On December 20, the Welsh Government said that core revenue funding for local government would increase by 3.1 per cent, with no local authority receiving less than a two per cent increase.
Pembrokeshire will receive a 2.5 per cent increase in the Aggregate External Finance (AEF) rate, placing it 16th in terms of the settlement rate out of the 22 Welsh local authorities.
Last year, Pembrokeshire received a higher-than-expected AEF settlement of 7.9 per cent, against an expected 3.5 per cent.
When the Outline Draft County Council Budget 2024-25 was reported to council on December 14, the projected funding gap was £27.1m, based on a 3.1 per cent increase; that has now increased to £28.4m, the report for members says.
Bleak warnings about the need for substantial raises in council tax to balance the council’s budget were made last year when the expected settlement was 3.1 per cent.
Last year, Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance Cllr Alec Cormack painted an even bleaker picture for the medium term, with £80.8m over the four-year period; the council unable to produce a balanced budget within a few years if council tax didn’t rise.
He said historic low levels of council tax, Pembrokeshire being the cheapest of the 22 Welsh local authorities, was to blame.
The report before Cabinet members at the January meeting includes an eye-watering potential increase in council tax.
“The 2024-25 provisional Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) for Pembrokeshire is £307.470m.  Pembrokeshire will receive AEF of £217.999m, so would need to generate £89.471m from council tax in order to reach SSA.
“This would require an increase in Band D council tax of 18.9 per cent for 2024-25.”
Welsh Government will debate and announce the final Local Government Settlement for 2024-25 on February 27, with a six-week formal consultation period on the Provisional Local Government Settlement ending on January 31.
It is recommended Cabinet consider the Provisional Local Government Settlement and its effect on the projected funding gap for 2024-25 and determine the consultation response from the council, to be returned to Welsh Government by January 31.
A public consultation on the budget in Pembrokeshire was recently undertaken by the council, closing yesterday, January 3.
It included options of increasing council tax, ranging from 7.5 per cent to 25 per cent. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales



More from Pembrokeshire Council

Hopes Dashed for Community Pub at Closed Pembrokeshire Inn

Pembrokeshire Council

Family Given Approval to Stay in Pembrokeshire ‘Love Shack’ Built Without Permission

Pembrokeshire Council

New Official Policy Proposed for Flying Flags and Lighting Up County Hall in Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire Council

Online Petition Launched to Save Pembrokeshire Day Centre from Closure

Pembrokeshire Council

Four Days Left Before Vote for Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner

Pembrokeshire Council

Second Stage of Haverfordwest Transport Interchange Contract ‘Called In’ for Review

Pembrokeshire Council

Latest from News.Wales

Public Consultation Launched for ‘No-Gas’ Housing Development Near Maesteg

Bridgend Council

Opponents of Proposed “Super-Estate” in Wrexham Call for Public Meeting

Wrexham Council

Disused Newport leisure centre deemed safe by council officials

Newport Council

Plans Revealed for Fourth Phase of Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route

Rhondda Council

Fear of Diluted Local Voice in Vale of Glamorgan Community Council Changes

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Smallest School in Rhondda Cynon Taf to Close Despite Strong Opposition

Rhondda Council