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Provisional budget reaction

Cllr David Thomas

21 December 2023

Cllr David Thomas
A less than three percent increase in the local government provisional settlement from the Welsh Government is not sufficient to meet the severe pressures that Powys County Council faces.

The council was told today (Wednesday, December 20) that its annual funding would increase by 2.8% for the year 2024/25 - less than the 3.1% Welsh average increase.

Cllr David Thomas, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Transformation said: "The council knew that this local government settlement was going to be challenging and today's announcement has confirmed this.

"The council is facing severe financial pressures for financial year 2024-25 and for the foreseeable future, pressures that will dominate the way we deliver services for many years to come.

"It is inevitable that these pressures will change the way we operate, the council we have today will not be affordable in the future. We must adapt if we are to survive and part of planning for the future is listening to the people of Powys.

"Powys is not alone facing a bleak financial future, local government throughout Wales is facing the same severe pressures. The Welsh Local Government Association has said that councils in Wales will be facing an estimated funding shortfall of £432m.

"Inflation and increases in demand for our services sees us facing additional costs of over £20m next year alone, the additional funding we will receive will not cover these costs. Difficult decisions will have to be taken which could see services reduced or redesigned as well as an increase in council tax."

Earlier this month, the council launched its budget survey and is now urging the people of Powys, businesses and service users to share their views as part of its budget setting process.

"We must plan for the future and the budget engagement is just the first step in that process," said Cllr Thomas.

"We are committed to full and frank discussion with the people of Powys and service users throughout this challenging time."

The survey can be found using the following link and is available at libraries. The closing date is January 7.