Agenda item

Budget Engagement


The Cabinet Member for Resources provided a presentation on the 2019/20 budget proposals.


Presentation:  Budget Consultation presentation


Having received the presentation, the following points were noted:


·         Monmouthshire is the lowest funded Authority in Wales. Deprivation is a key factor in determining Welsh Government funding for local authorities across Wales.  Though there are areas of deprivation within Monmouthshire, the Authority’s areas of deprivation are not captured by Welsh Government in the way the Authority would like.  Rural authorities in Wales, such as Monmouthshire, have greater financial impacts in respect of social care provision.  Travel costs in this area are significantly greater in rural authorities than compared with urban authorities.


·         Pressure is being put onto Welsh Government to review the Local Government funding formula with a view to making it a fairer system.


·         Monmouthshire County Council, like many other local authorities across Wales, are having to raise council tax, in order to maintain service delivery across the County.


·         Schools budgets have flat lined.  Pay increases are also having to be incorporated.  Other non-educational budgets across the Authority have been cut to maintain core funding of the Education budget.


·         Monmouthshire County Council is the last of the Greater Gwent Authorities to stop funding the Gwent Music Service, in the sum of £40,000. Discussions are ongoing with the Gwent Music Service to ease the transition.


·         The Authority endeavours to fill potholes as soon as possible as a temporary measure before a permanent repair is undertaken at a later date.


·         The Authority’s Waste Management Service is replacing older, more costly vehicles and investing in new and efficient vehicles with a view to collecting waste / recycling in a different way. There is a need to collect waste separately as this ensures that the value of the product is increased leading to an increase in income generated.  The savings generated are identified in the 2019/2020 budget.


·         The Monmouthshire public has had to embrace changes to the Authority’s Waste Management Service in previous years and it is hoped that the public will continue to embrace and support the changes anticipated.  The changes will help the Authority to achieve the increasing recycling targets being set by Welsh Government.


·         A successful trial has been undertaken regarding recycling glass bottle waste. When the service is rolled out across the County, arrangement will be put in place to help vulnerable residents through the changes. Staff contact details will also be available should any member of the public require this.


·         Concern was expressed that car parking charges were set to increase by 10% in Chepstow with a flat rate car parking charge being introduced on a Sunday. It was considered that this was not equitable across the County and could have a negative impact on the high street and to local businesses.  However, due to the budget deficit in the sum of £594,000, this was one of a number of measures having to be undertaken to help mitigate against the deficit.


·         Residents will be encouraged to recycle more waste. Extra polypropylene bags / containers will be provided if required.


We noted the report and presentation.

Supporting documents: