Skip to Main Content

We will be seeking to offer an alternative, better quality and sustainable in- house offer for those already in temporary Bed and Breakfast and therefore there is unlikely to be an increase in street homelessness. Aligning with this budget proposal and as part of our wider homeless service, we provide an assertive outreach service that seeks to tackle rough sleeping.  This service helps facilitate access to accommodation and support. It will be a service we will continue to fund. We anticipate that as the in-house offer will also include on-site, wrap around support provision, we will be able to help individuals to find more sustainable options moving forward and help reduce the risk of future loss of accommodation. 

We could provide food bags through the food banks free of charge to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in the community. Providing food waste bags free of charge across all outlets with assessment of suitable criteria for those who are vulnerable or those who are not is more complex and using the foodbanks as an outlet is a good option.  

We are already looking to make use of some cottages that have become available and are suitable as part of our existing county farms portfolio. We are also reviewing our assets and property that is currently available and becoming available as we vacate them. 

The budget recognises the pay awards for both our teaching and non-teaching school staff, amounting to £2.2m based on our pay award assumptions for next year.  In managing over £20m of cost pressures for next year the Council is needing to find £8.4m of savings and efficiencies alongside increases in funding, council tax and fees and charges. Schools are being asked to make a contribution towards these overall council efficiencies from its individual schools’ budgets (ISB).  The value of this contribution is £835,000.  We have met approximately two thirds of the costs of the pay award.  We recognise that this will impact on schools and Governing Bodies who hold these delegated budgets, and who will have to make difficult decisions about staffing and resources in their schools.

In relation to the pay offer for the 2023/24 Academic year, we have passported any funding Welsh Government provided in year as a result of the improved teacher pay award that was negotiated.

In order to support the delivery of proposed savings in a challenging context of increasing demand the service is building further on practice change that was undertaken last year including:  

  • Supporting practitioners to have conversations with individuals and families to explore how personal, family and community strengths can help support people achieve their personal outcomes  
  • Ensuring that care and support plans are reviewed in a timely way  
  • Sharing decision making and ownership of assessments and care plans at a senior level, which supports practitioners and improves consistency in terms of how we respond to people’s needs  
  • Developing practice around the use of assistive technology to support people’s independence  
  • Developing stronger links with housing and community-based support to ensure that people’s long-term independence is maximised  
  • Ensuring reablement services are available when people need them after an illness or time in hospital 

Based on an average Band D property, the proposed 7.5% council tax increase for next year works out as an additional £9.78 per month, which we recognise is an extra cost to households. 

There is a range of support available to help, for example, Single Person Discount and the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) and we would encourage households to check if they are eligible for this support.  Where this isn’t an option, households are able to spread the cost over a 12-month period rather than the standard 10 months.  Again, we would encourage ratepayers to get in touch to make these arrangements. 

Welsh Government are currently consulting on council tax reform proposals which may include a revaluation exercise that would alter the bands.  It is therefore too early to determine the impact these reforms will have on Monmouthshire’s households. 

Monmouthshire County Council is committed to developing sustainable transport opportunities for our residents, including the development of our Active Travel Network.  The funding previously designated to the Wye Active Travel Crossing has come from the Welsh Government Active Travel Fund, this will continue to be the case for any future progress on the scheme.  The funding is ring-fenced for projects to support an increase in walking and wheeling (Active Travel) and as such cannot be used for any other services within the Local Authority.  During financial year 23/24 Monmouthshire was allocated the highest funding award in Wales through the annual competitive bidding process and officers are continuing to look to maximise the impact of this grant funding for the 24/25 budget.   

Local Authorities have a statutory duty to collect and dispose of household waste but can charge for its containment. Local Authorities are also able to require householders to provide their own bags for collection.  

There are a number of rate relief schemes available to village halls, of which the Retail Relief Scheme is one. The other relief schemes depend on how the village hall operates. For example, an occupied village hall operating as a business with a rateable value of less than £6,000 wouldn’t have to pay any business rates under the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (SBR).  If their rateable value is between £6,001 and £12,000, they would receive tapered Small Business Rate Relief.  If the village hall is operating as a registered charity, they are eligible for 80% mandatory relief. If they are operating on a not-for-profit basis, they are eligible for a maximum of 80% relief capped at £2,500. 

The retail relief scheme is awarded alongside these reliefs and after all other reliefs have been applied. Any expansion of these exemptions would represent a cost to the council and the ratepayers of Monmouthshire.