Councils welcome extra cash from Welsh Government
COUNCILS are set to get more money from the Welsh Government next year.
The provisional settlement for all 22 local authorities has increased by 1.5 per cent on average, compared with last year when authorities such as Swansea only saw a 0.5 per cent increase.
Swansea will see a 1.49 per cent rise — up to £327 million.
Neath Port Talbot's grant has increased by 1.36 per cent to £217 million and Carmarthen will receive £271 million — a 1.27 per cent rise.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
However, the increases do not match the current rate of inflation, which stands at 2.2 per cent.
Carmarthenshire Council said the settlement was as expected.
A spokeswoman said: "The settlement is in line with what we were expecting. It will still require significant efficiency savings. Councillors and officers will be analysing this over the coming weeks."
And reacting to the settlement for Neath Port Talbot, council leader Ali Thomas said: "Neath Port Talbot Council recognises the difficult financial position of the Welsh Government.
"We welcome the provisional local government settlement in overall terms and the positive commitment to sustain key public services such as education and social services, in sharp contrast to the position in England. We are continuing a constructive dialogue with the Minister Carl Sargeant about mitigating the impact of the current climate of austerity on our communities."
The settlement forms councils' revenue support grant and goes towards council services including social services, education and rubbish collections and street lighting.
Included within the settlement for the first time is funding for the council tax support scheme, which is being transferred to the Welsh Government as a result of the UK Government's decision to abolish Council Tax Benefit from April 2013.
Announcing the grant, Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant said: "Local authorities need to be clear that the settlement I have delivered over this spending review period has been better than they expected and better than in England.
"The coming years are likely to be even more difficult and it is imperative that councils put themselves in the best position to face future challenges by investing in regional collaboration now.
"So that they are in a better place to weather the coming financial storm, I want local authorities to come forward with proposals for collaborative projects and take advantage of the funding pot that I am creating."
The increased grant has been welcomed by the WLGA (Welsh Local Government Association).
Aaron Shotton (Flintshire), deputy leader and spokesman for finance and resources said: "The WLGA welcomes the settlement which, despite the difficult financial climate, provides sustained core funding for local authorities in Wales and continues to provide a comparatively better settlement than England."
The announcement marks the start of a consultation period which will end on November 13.