Our proposals have been drafted amidst a set of challenging circumstances which sees the council continue to face ongoing and significant financial, demographic and demand-led pressures. The council is facing £9.7 million of new unavoidable costs that need to be incorporated into the 2020/21 budget.
The draft budget proposals look to support the priorities of the council. Specifically, they seek to recognise in full, all pay and pension-related spending pressures in our schooling system and the increasing demand placed on children’s social care services, adult social care and our children with additional learning needs budgets.
The budget proposals see a continuation of the council’s preparedness to challenge all services to improve, rather than see the closure of services that matter to citizens. There is an acknowledgement that when things close they never return and the council stands firm that it is better to scale back rather than absolutely withdraw.
It is never popular to charge for services but the reality is that the council needs to do so. There are proposals to increase fees in a number of areas in line with inflation.
Welsh Government funding is not adequate to meet the significant pressures faced, with Monmouthshire being disadvantaged as the worst funded council in Wales once again. Council tax payers by default will have to shoulder a greater proportion of the overall cost of services. These outline budget proposals assume a council tax rise of 4.95% for 2020/21 and 3.95% for following years.
For more information on the disappointing funding settlement from Welsh Government our press release and response can be found here: https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/2019/12/extreme-disappointment-as-council-sees-the-worst-budget-settlement-in-wales/
In previous years, front line services such as waste and highways have seen significant reduction. There is only very limited scope for this to continue and this year we may need to look to the schools budget to make a small contribution as well albeit in overall terms school funding will increase year in year. We would rather not be doing this and expect it to be an area where we receive significant feedback.
A comprehensive list of the proposals can be found here:
How you can get involved
A range of engagement opportunities will be available to provide residents with an opportunity to hear about the draft proposals and the wider budget context for the council and enable residents to share their thoughts too.
Face-to-face meetings with groups include disability groups, older people and young people will take place. The council website, social media channels, select committees and visits to town and community councils will be a further opportunity for information to be shared and residents to offer views.
Dates for the diary:
- Public Meeting – 14th January 6.30pm, Chepstow Hub, 9 Bank Street, Chepstow, NP16 5EN
- Public Meeting 22nd January 6.30pm, Abergavenny Library, Baker Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5BD
- Access for All Forum, Budget Meeting – Friday 17th January 11.00am- 2pm St Mary’s Priory Centre, Abergavenny.
The Access for All forum is a valuable platform to enable people with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities and older people from across Monmouthshire to have their voice heard, receive information and contribute to consultation and engagement processes.
Communities are town and community cluster meetings and area committee forums to hear information based on their locality. Dates and times to be confirmed.
Budget 20/21 – Survey