Have your say on budget proposals
Posted on Thursday 21st December 2017
A public consultation on a series of proposals for changes to services and support provided by Newport City Council is now underway.
At its meeting yesterday, Newport City Council’s cabinet considered the budget for 2018-19 and how services could be delivered within the limited resources available.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of the council, said: “Quite simply we have less money and staff than ever but are still expected to deliver hundreds of services for the city.
“We have seen our funding from government repeatedly cut over the last few years yet the demand for services continues to grow. The council has delivered efficiency savings and developed ways of providing services differently but this has become increasingly more difficult.
“Although savings of £41million have already been made over the last five years, and the council has reduced the number of staff it employs by around one quarter, we still anticipate having to make further savings of at least £30 million by 2022.
“Throughout this process our key focus is always how we can protect essential services and our most vulnerable residents, and ensure the future growth of our city.”
The savings proposals for 2018-19 total around £7.4 million. Those requiring cabinet approval or cabinet member approval are now available for comment at www.newport.gov.uk/budget where you can also find out more about where the council’s funding comes from and the general budget challenge.
The public consultation will run until the end of January 2018 and all responses will then be considered by cabinet at their February meeting.
As the council is committed to being open and transparent, all head of service decisions are available to view, although are not be subject to the full consultation.
One of the proposals being consulted on is to increase council tax by five per cent. Many people don’t realise that council tax only raises around 20 per cent of the annual budget, with funding from Welsh Government accounting for the largest part –almost 80 per cent of the council’s total revenue.
Councillor Wilcox added: “Although a relatively small proportion of our funds come from council tax, we fully appreciate that this is a considerable outgoing for residents, and unlike many other UK authorities we are not proposing a large hike, rather seeking to make efficiencies elsewhere.
“Against a backdrop of huge budget pressures, we feel it is fair that only a quarter of that will be found from council tax with the rest coming from savings.”