Posted: Fri 21st Oct 2016

Protection Afforded To Council Funding By The Welsh Government Welcomed By RCT Council Leader

This article is old - Published: Friday, Oct 21st, 2016

Protection afforded to Council funding by the Welsh Government has been welcomed by RCT Council Leader, Cllr Andrew Morgan. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Despite the continuation of austerity by the UK Government, the prioritisation of Local Council Services by the Finance Secretary will see the funding gap facing Welsh Councils significantly reduce. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is proposed to receive a 0.2% increase in funding for 2017/18 year. The Council had previously estimated a reduction of -2% in the forthcoming financial year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The 2017/18 Local Government Settlement is the first in five years to deliver an increase for Council finances. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I welcome the protection afforded to local government by the Cabinet Secretary in the Welsh Government’s Provisional Budget. As a result of the cuts to Wales’ funding in recent years, we had anticipated a further reduction of funding the next financial year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The prioritisation of funding for the vital services we deliver means that the anticipated funding gap the Council faces has been reduced. This approach by the Welsh Government will afford us the opportunity to plan and prepare through our Medium Term Financial Plan for future financial challenges we know we are likely to face in these uncertain economic times; it also allows us to focus on investment in key areas thanks to the greater financial flexibility it provides. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“While we have had to make tough decisions in recent years to balance the Council books, we have also been innovative in our approach, achieving savings of over £100M. Last year, faced with a budget gap of £20M, less than £0.4M of the required savings were made through service changes with the majority of savings made through efficiencies and different ways of working. Though we have had a better than anticipated settlement we will need to continue to adopt the same approach to mitigate the impact of future funding challenges on our communities. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The Welsh Government has always recognised the importance of local government services and when faced with cutting the funding “cake” across its range of responsibilities has consistently chosen not to savagely cut local authority funding, as has been the case in English local authorities. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Challenges still remain, with the increase in cost for the delivery of services as a result of issues such as inflation and increasing employment costs will continue to make prudence a necessity for the foreseeable future. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This better than anticipated settlement, alongside the effective financial management we have adopted, means that Rhondda Cynon Taf is well placed to manage future financial challenges, while continuing to invest in the regeneration of the County.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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