Blaenau Gwent's Budget 2020/2021
Over the past 10 years, Blaenau Gwent has seen major cuts in the funding it receives from Welsh Government. The Council has responded to this and made savings of £42million. Our priority has been to protect front line services however the extent of lower funding levels has inevitably led to reductions in some services delivered to our residents.
The Council recently received its provisional budget settlement from Welsh Government which indicates that Blaenau Gwent will receive an increase in its funding of 3.9% which is an additional £4.3 million for next year.
The increase in funding is welcome news however it does not reverse the significant budget reductions of the last 10 years which means that we must continue to be financially prudent and work hard to meet service demands whilst balancing the budget.
Balancing Our Budget
Our approach to financial planning over the last 12 months has enabled us to balance the budget for next year. Key to this has been taking a more commercially minded approach and thinking about different ways to meet the needs of our residents, businesses and visitors.
Through a range of strategic business reviews which include reviewing the commercial arrangement we have with our suppliers, identifying how we can improve how our residents access services and how we manage the property and land we own we have identified budget reductions of between £5.3m and £7.9m over the next 5 years. Of this £1.4m has been identified for 2020-21
This approach and the better than expected Welsh Government budget settlement means that there will be no impact on frontline services in the financial year 2020-21. As a result, we will not be seeking people’s views on detailed savings proposals for 2020-21.
Our approach to financial planning includes anticipating our funding situation across a 5 year period and consideration of how we will continue to fund services during that time. Over that time we predict further gaps and a shortfall in the level of funding required to deliver our priorities. In order to plan for that situation we need to consider all income required and levels of Council tax.
Council tax is an important element of the Council’s funding contributing approximately 20% of total income and is the main way we can fill any funding gap from Welsh Government. Our medium term plan includes a proposal to increase Council Tax by 4% to help us build resilience for now and meet service requirements for future years.
Band D is commonly used as the standard for comparing levels of Council Tax across Wales and this gives a misleading picture for Blaenau Gwent. In Blaenau Gwent 85% of homes are in Band A or Band B and the proposed increase of 4% equates to:
Band A 86p per week increase
Band B 98p per week increase
How the Council Spends Its Budget
The majority of money we get from Welsh Government is spent on Social Services and Education. Council Tax and other income helps fund those other services that are also important to residents.
Policy, Partnership & Engagement
Telephone Number: 01495 355092
Address: Floor 4A, Municipal Offices, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale
Email Address: email@example.com