FLINTSHIRE Council is set to receive a 2.2% increase in funding from Welsh Government for 2024/25, the third lowest for local authorities.
Wednesday’s (December 20) announcement by Welsh Government on provisional budget settlement said that core revenue funding for local government will increase by 3.1%, with no local authority receiving less than a 2% increase.
In a statement, it said that the settlement reflects the government’s commitment to protect services used every day, and there had been some “difficult decisions” to radically redesign spending plans to focus funding on such services.
Council Leader Cllr Ian Roberts however has said that the settlement was “very, very disappointing” for Flintshire, who received 0.9% less than they were anticipating.
He said: “Unfortunately, Flintshire County Council finds itself at the lower end of the settlement once again. We were told that there would be an average increase of 3.1%, yet we have received only 2.2%, the third lowest in Wales.
“Flintshire is already facing a budget gap of £11.090m in 2024/25 and this settlement will only serve to increase this further.
“Even before the blow of this settlement announcement, our work in setting a legally balanced budget for 2024/25 has been proving to be extremely difficult and challenging.
“There needs to be a fundamental review of the way in which the Welsh Local Government funding formula works and the increasing gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ in Wales.
“We will be making the strongest possible representations to Welsh Government and to Members of the Senedd about this very, very disappointing settlement for the people of Flintshire.”
Neal Cockerton, Chief Executive said: “We are continuing to work through the detail of the provisional allocation to fully understand what, if any, further potential impacts there are.
“Whilst we recognise that Welsh Government is facing its own significant financial challenges next year, this is an incredibly disappointing settlement for Flintshire.
“Setting our budget for 2024/25 is proving to be our most challenging yet, and (yesterday’s) announcement will only make what is already a very difficult budget setting process, even more challenging.”