Improved Local Government Settlements Outlined by Welsh Government

Councils across Wales have received improved final settlements from the Welsh Government to help ensure they continue to provide key public services.

Just before Christmas, the Welsh Government outlined details of the Final Local Government Settlements for the upcoming financial year (2019-20).

All local authorities across Wales have benefited from the latest announcement and having originally planned for a decrease to their budget of 0.6%, Wrexham Council will now face a 0.1% cut

Last year, Wrexham Council’s budget increased by 0.4%.

Lesley Griffiths AM has welcomed the improved local government settlements and said: “We live in challenging financial times and like local authorities, the Welsh Government has had to prioritise and make difficult decisions due to the relentless cuts to public funding initiated by the Tory Government in Westminster.”

“Overall, the Welsh Budget has decreased by £850m compared to 2010-11.  In spite of this, from April, health spending will rise by almost 5.5%, an additional 12.2% has been outlined for economy and transport and education funding will see a 4.6% rise.”

“I recognise the situation is not ideal for councils in Wales but it is worth highlighting the situation over the border.  By 2020, English local authorities will have faced a reduction to core funding from the UK Tory Government of nearly £16 billion since 2010 – an average of 60%.”

“Despite being in the longest period austerity in living memory and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the Welsh Government continues to protect Wales’ public services from the worst effects of the Tories’ damaging fiscal policies.”

After the provisional settlement announced in October 2018, the final settlement for 2019-20 includes an extra £23.6m as a result of the Welsh Government’s final budget allocations.  In November 2018, the Welsh Government announced an extra £141.5m for local government.  Coupled together, it now means that no local authority in Wales will face a reduction in its funding of more than 0.3%.

The Welsh Government has also clarified that while the unhypothecated Settlement is the largest single source of funding available to authorities, it is not the only one.  In setting their budgets and council tax levels for next year, every authority is expected to take account of all the available funding streams and to consider how to secure best value for Welsh taxpayers through effective and efficient service provision.