Local government has today welcomed a positive financial settlement from Welsh Government at the end of an extraordinary year.
Councils will see an average of 3.8% increase to their core revenue in 2021-22, representing a £172m year-on-year boost.
The provisional local government settlement will now be subject to a seven-week consultation period, which will end on 9 February 2021 in advance of Welsh Government setting its final budget.
Councillor Andrew Morgan (Rhondda Cynon Taf), WLGA Leader said:
“This is a welcome settlement as it provides investment for local services and gives councils some certainty they need to plan in unpredictable times. This year has been exceptionally hard for all of us and councils have worked with the Welsh Government to support and protect our communities. The financial support given to councils by Welsh Government to respond to the pandemic during this financial year has been invaluable but the impact of the crisis and ongoing public service pressures will be felt for some time.”
Councillor Anthony Hunt (Torfaen), WLGA Finance Spokesperson said:
“Today’s announcement builds on last year’s positive settlement and will help to improve education outcomes and support the most vulnerable in our communities and ensure they receive the care they need. It reflects a period of regular, constructive engagement with Ministers during the past year and is recognition of the role councils have played during the pandemic and the critical importance of council services to Wales’ recovery. It is a welcome settlement but we will continue to make the case for a funded floor in our ongoing discussions with Ministers.”
“Our staff have been at the forefront of the pandemic response whether they work on the frontline like carers or in corporate functions like finance who delivered urgent financial support to thousands of businesses. They have done an incredible job and we owe them all a debt of thanks.”
Councillor Hugh Evans OBE (Denbighshire), WLGA Independent Group Leader said:
“The part played by local authorities in the response to the crisis this year has been crucial. Although this settlement will be welcomed by many authorities, there remain significant public service and financial challenges, particularly for those authorities who will receive a lower-than-average increase. For this reason, we need a funding floor to protect those authorities. With the announcement by the UK Government of a March Budget, we shall continue to make the case for a multiyear approach to funding so that we can plan with more certainty.”
Councillor Emlyn Dole (Carmarthenshire), WLGA Plaid Cymru Group Leader said:
“Whilst I welcome this positive settlement and our constructive and regular dialogue with Ministers, especially during this challenging year, the funding announced will not cover the pressures faced by all councils across Wales. Although we are still very much in the throes of the crisis, it will one day pass and we want to make sure that our services are still there for our communities in a post-Covid world.”
Councillor Peter Fox OBE (Monmouthshire), WLGA Conservative Group Leader said:
“I am pleased that the role of local government in this extraordinary year has been recognised by Welsh Government. There has been and will be significant consequentials from UK Government funding announcements, some of which remains to be allocated within the Welsh Government’s budget. It’s important that the real pressures in local government are addressed and we will continue to make this case with Ministers during the coming weeks.”
Notes to Editors
Please see Written Statement by the Minister for Housing and Local Government: https://gov.wales/written-statement-provisional-local-government-settlement-2021-22