Budget will be one of the toughest ever set
DECREASES in funding means Carmarthenshire Council is facing setting one of its toughest budgets yet.
The level of funding the local authority will receive from the Welsh Government from next April has been decreased by 3.9 per cent.
The announcement was made by Local Government Minister Lesley Griffiths.
Every council in Wales has been given notice of how much funding it will have for the next financial year.
This week all Carmarthenshire county councillors will be invited to discuss around 60 proposals for efficiency savings to bridge the funding gap the council faces, before a large-scale public consultation is launched.
Council Leader Kevin Madge has already warned people to brace themselves for change, and acknowledges councillors representing the people of Carmarthenshire will be faced with making tough and unpopular decisions over the coming months.
He is calling on all 74 councillors as well as community and voluntary groups to work together to ensure as many services, and jobs, can be protected. "This is one of the toughest settlements we've ever had," he said.
"We've already tightened our belts and made significant efficiency savings in the last few years, which is why it's going to be hard to cut back further.
"However, by working together with our communities, we will stand a better chance of protecting front-line services and jobs.
"I also call on every member of council to work together, similar to how they've worked together in Welsh Government where they've put their political differences aside to move forward and set a budget."
Council chief executive Mark James has warned that services will be hit.
He said: "We are expecting cuts which will amount to somewhere in the region of £25 million to £30 million next year and the year after alone. It will be extremely challenging for many councils.
Whilst having to make massive cuts, councils are being expected in many cases to do even more. It just isn't possible to do both."