Monmouthshire County Council today received confirmation from Welsh Government that it will receive a 9.3% increase in its core funding next year. This compares to the 7.9% average for Wales – councils across Wales have received settlements ranging from increases of 6.5% to 9.3%. This welcome news will allow the Council to lessen the degree to which it will need to bring forward saving proposals that would otherwise impact on services.
Cllr. Mary Ann Brocklesby, Leader said: “This is a better than expected local government settlement from Welsh Government, which rightly recognises the extraordinary role of our local services alongside the NHS in Wales. I am grateful to Welsh ministers for listening to us as council leaders. The Chancellor’s autumn statement was not sufficient to protect public service budgets against the immense challenges caused by record inflation. This shows what can be achieved for communities in Wales when local and Welsh Government works together.
“Notwithstanding the increased level of funding for next year, the Council is suffering in the same way as its residents amidst a cost of living crisis. Demand and inflationary pressures significantly outweigh the additional funding received from Welsh Government and difficult decisions will still need to be taken to ensure that our services remain viable and sustainable. Our focus will remain on protecting those most vulnerable and in need across Monmouthshire”.
Cllr. Rachel Garrick, Cabinet Member for Resources said: “The provisional settlement has offered only a partial lifeline to the Council. Services continue to remain under intense pressure and we are continuing to see funding from UK Government falling short of inflationary and demand pressures. Whilst the above average increase in settlement for the Council is very welcome, we must still recognise that the Council remains firmly rooted to the bottom of the table for the amount of funding per capita it receives from Welsh Government, which means that the Council has to raise a significantly higher proportion of its funding from council tax and other sources compared to its counterparts”.
The Council’s draft budget proposals will be considered by its Cabinet at a meeting on the 18th January 2023 and will then be released for public consultation. The local community and partner organisations will have an opportunity to share their views on the proposals at face to face events, Teams Livestream events or online. Further information will be provided on the Council’s website – monmouthshire.gov.uk – details of all consultation events and information about the survey will be shared in the New Year.