Council completes year in budget despite challenges
The Council, thanks to careful financial management, finished the financial year in budget for the 10th year in a row.
This was despite some very severe challenges adding extra pressure onto the Council’s finances, including dealing with some of the worst and most sustained flooding in decades in February and the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March.
These pressures come on top of the Council undergoing another difficult year financially with it needing to save a further £6.1 million from its budget, taking the total saved to £123 million since 2010 when the Government’s austerity programme began.
A report to the Council’s cabinet, which meets on 18 June, shows that by careful management the Council was able to reallocate extra funding into initiatives to tackle unemployment, ever more important to help the local economy recover from the pandemic, and environmental issues.
Cabinet finance lead Rae Evans said: “While many councils continue to struggle, we continue with our robust financial management, ending the year in a positive position and with the lowest council tax in the region despite some of the most difficult in-year pressures we’ve ever seen. Considering the circumstances, and that many other councils were already struggling to balance their books, this is a significant achievement.”
“This prudent approach will be all the more important as the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic becomes clearer.
“Our finances will be under renewed pressure as many residents, businesses and community organisations look to us for further support in many different ways as the effects of the pandemic are ever more widely felt.”
“We will face for example increased costs for care services while we’ve lost income by closing our leisure centres – all of which is not covered by the additional funding from Government and that’s why we will continue to lobby to ensure that we get fair funding.”