The WLGA has welcomed next year’s local government funding settlement from Welsh Government but warns that tough decisions remain due to continuing challenging economic circumstances.
Councils will receive an average 7.9% increase in funding from Welsh Government, which is around £400m.
Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE (Rhondda Cynon Taf), WLGA Leader said:
“Local services are the bedrock of our communities which are relied on by so many every day. We are very grateful to the Minister for listening to our case for investment in social care, schools, and other key services provided by local authorities. We are pleased that our expectations of funding from the consequential were exceeded. However, the economic outlook remains bleak which means that councils will still have to take difficult decisions to meet spiralling budget gaps due to energy bills, inflation and pay costs. This settlement covers just over half of the pressure we face in the next financial year. We will look forward to continuing the constructive engagement with Welsh Government so that we can work together to deliver for Wales.”
Councillor Mark Pritchard (Wrexham), WLGA Independent Group Leader said:
“I welcome the commitment shown by Welsh Government today to our local services. We have engaged in close dialogue with the Minister to outline the severe challenges we face, and that has been very much appreciated. The pressures facing councils the length and breadth of Wales simply cannot be overstated. At a time when residents are forced to choose from eating or heating, we want to continue to be there to provide support to our communities.
Councillor Llinos Medi (Anglesey), WLGA Plaid Cymru Group Leader said:
“Day in day out, our councils do incredible work to improve people’s lives and support our communities. But it is no secret that lifeline services, such as social care, are under intense pressure. Whilst we’re having to meet ever-rocketing energy bills and inflationary pressures, it means that we have significantly less money to spend on vital services. Whilst we very much appreciate this settlement by Welsh Government, it is by no means a silver bullet to extraordinary budget challenges. We will still have to consult our communities on some very difficult decisions to help ensure that vital services remain viable for those who need them.”