Swansea Council Faces Tough Budget

£16million funding gap next financial year

The Leader of Swansea Council has warned it faces tough budget choices to close its £16 million funding gap next year.

The Council will soon be launching its public consultation on budget proposals against a backdrop of reduced funding and increasing costs.

The Council has received an extra £1m for next year from the Welsh Government, but the gap between the money it received and what it needs to spend is more than £16 million.

Rob Stewart, Council Leader, said: "Although we had an extra £1 million from the Welsh Government, our funding has actually fallen in real terms.

"On top of this we have new spending pressures of more than £16 million. These include extra costs for nationally-agreed teachers' and staff pay awards and the rising demand for services such as social care.

"We've stated that education and social services are our priorities, but even these services may have to have their budgets reduced in order to find the £16 million in savings to balance our books.

"This means the Council faces making tough choices in where we spend our money and where we make savings.

"We will do everything we can to protect services and jobs, but these are very difficult financial times and we expect them to get worse. The picture for the next three years will see our funding fall by £55 million which means we'll need to make further significant savings.

"In the next few weeks we'll be completing our budget proposals and we'll be asking the public what they think. Their feedback will be vital in helping make final decisions on where we spend and save money."

The budget proposals are expected to be discussed by the Council's Cabinet on December 12. If agreed a public consultation will be launched to get feedback prior to Cabinet considering the proposals and consultation results in February.

Cllr Stewart added: "As a council we are doing everything we can to reduce costs by being more efficient through new working practices and digital services. We're reviewing all of our services to ensure they provide value for money and are run in the most efficient way.

"We're also aiming to become more commercial by providing services to the private sector and others to increase our income."

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