Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Settlement means tough choices ahead

The announcement of the Welsh Local Government settlement has further highlighted the financial problems faced by Anglesey.

The Island Authority has this year again received Wales' lowest settlement from the Welsh Assembly Government - an increase of 1.0% for 2010/11.

Local Government Minister, Dr Brian Gibbons, announced details of the increases in spending for councils earlier this week (Tuesday, October 13th) with the Welsh average standing at 2.1%.

Responding to the news, Council Leader, Councillor Clive McGregor, warned that the Authority faced tough choices in terms of future service delivery.

He stressed, "Cuts to the Assembly budget from Westminster have meant less funding for Councils in 2010-11. We have no figures for later years but the outlook for public spending generally means even worse is to come. Local government is now feeling the full force of the recession and, as in industry and other sectors, we will certainly have to endure a number of lean years."

"In the case of Anglesey, this will undoubtedly mean many tough choices for the County Council as we must prioritise public spending with a view to medium and long term service delivery."

The County Council's Executive has recently held a number of Question Time sessions to highlight the financial difficulties the Authority now faces and has asked residents for their service priorities.

Finance portfolio holder, Tom Jones, said, "I am pleased that the Minister has included a settlement "floor" of 1%. Without it, we would have faced an even lower funding increase, which would have been disastrous for a small authority like Anglesey."

"With our budget deliberations under way, I am also mindful of the Minister's comments about the floor funding not being given to subsidise any council tax increase."


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