Is the South Wales Assembly squeezing Gwynedd dry?
Gwynedd preparing for Tough Times Ahead
Gwynedd Council is
bracing itself to try and cope with severe financial reductions over the next
three years following the publication of the Assembly Government’s draft budget
officers have expressed dismay at the amount of resources which are expected to
be allocated to local government over the next three years as outlined in the
draft local government settlement announced this week.
Gwynedd Council’s Strategic Director for Resources said:
“The Assembly grant
makes up around 80% of the money that Gwynedd Council receives to pay for local
services and, whilst we were expecting to receive less than in previous years,
we did not expect the sort of figures which we see in the Assembly Government’s
“The increase is way
short of the amount Gwynedd needs to pay for inflation let alone the increasing
demand for key services.
planning had already identified the need for us to prepare for a financial
squeeze, and we have already been planning further efficiency savings of £4m in
2008/09 over and above the £4m we have already found this year.
“The fact that the
Government’s settlement is likely to be even worse than we had feared means
that Gwynedd Council will struggle to keep next year’s the budget cuts to the
planned £4m. With a further two years of financial reductions to follow
2008/09, the financial outlook appears bleak for local services.”
Evans, who leads on Resources on Gwynedd Council added:
“The Assembly Government’s
budget suggests that local government will only receive a 2.2% increase in our
budgets next year, with more tough times to follow for the following two years.
“The fact Gwynedd
Council has received the third lowest settlement in Wales for the past three
years, means that this news comes as a further blow to local services.
“Over the last three
years we have continuously been searching for and found efficiency savings to
assist with the precarious financial position with which we have been
“This year we had to
cut £4m from the Council’s budget to make ends meet, a substantial portion of
this sum was found by developing more efficient ways of working.
“Whilst we will
continue to identify and promote more innovative and efficient ways of working,
this latest blow means that it is inevitable that there will be an impact on
local services and jobs.”
Full details here: http://www.wlga.gov.uk/content.php?nID=23;ID=126;lID=1