Difficult choices ahead as talks begin on next year’s budget

32 days ago

Around £28million of efficiency savings need to be found by Carmarthenshire County Council over the next three years.

The council’s Executive Board will start discussions about the budget at its next meeting, looking at a variety of proposals put forward to help balance the books.

Carmarthenshire, like other councils in Wales, has faced annual reductions in its funding from Welsh Government year on year, whilst having to meet rising costs and increasing demands for services.

More than £50million of savings has been delivered in the last five years alone, in a time when the council has continued to invest in new state of the art schools for children, and facilities to support the county’s economy, particularly to create jobs.

Over the next few months, people will be given the opportunity to give feedback on 27 new service proposals being considered over the next three years. This is in addition to more than £5.5million of internal managerial savings that need to be made by council officers by 2020.

Cllr David Jenkins, Executive Board Member for Resources, said: “Once again we have had a disappointing provisional settlement from Welsh Government which leaves us in a very challenging position with difficult choices to make between balancing the books and the needs of our communities.

“As always, we will be taking the views of members of the public on board as part of a wide-ranging consultation on proposals, and we will do all we can to mitigate the impact on front-line services. This is an important opportunity for everybody to get involved.

“Behind the scenes our officers have already made efficiency savings by doing things differently – reviewing what we do, how we do it, and where we can make improvements. By doing this, £16million of savings have been achieved internally over the last three years.”

Members of the Executive Board will meet on November 19 at County Hall to start talks on next year’s budget. Following their agreement, a public consultation will start on November 20.