Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Budget settlement creates challenging backdrop for RCT local services

The Welsh Assembly Government yesterday announced the provisional local government settlement for all local authorities in Wales. Within the statement made today by the Minister for Local Government, Dr Brian Gibbons AM, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council is set to receive a 2.5% increase for the financial year 2010/11.

Responding to the announcement of the provisional local government settlement by the Welsh Assembly Government, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Leader, County Borough Councillor Russell Roberts said:

“This settlement sets a challenging backdrop for the delivery of local public services here in Rhondda Cynon Taf in the coming years.

“At 2.5%, the provisional settlement is better than anticipated, but this in no way means the decisions we will inevitably face during these challenging times for public finances, will be any less difficult.

“When compared with other local authorities, the lobbying undertaken of Assembly Government Ministers by myself has clearly produced one of the better settlements for a local authority in Wales.

"One particular area of concern is the significant reduction, in all Wales levels, of the Capital Grants for Local Roads (down 18%) and the School Building Improvement Grant (down 34%), and I await to see the direct impact of this on this Council.

“For the foreseeable future, local government continues to work within a very difficult economic and fiscal environment, but here in Rhondda Cynon Taf, through our Medium Term Financial Planning, we are working to ensure we limit the impact on the frontline services that matter to local people and protect the strong financial standing of the Council we have worked so hard to secure in the last five years.

“In the coming months, Cabinet and I will work tirelessly to deliver a balanced and equitable budget which protects and invests in the key services.

“Like every other Council in Wales, indeed the UK, tough public finances have delivered a low settlement for everyone, which means there will be a budget gap we will need to address, and as a Cabinet we will be faced with considering potentially unpopular decisions, in order to balance the Council’s budget and protect important services.

“We will not shy away from these decisions provided they are the right ones and in the wider interests of the people of Rhondda Cynon Taf.”


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