Budget proposals for 2023-24 have been endorsed by the Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council
to ensure the local authority can continue to provide essential services and meet some of the most
difficult challenges that it has ever faced.
With a gross revenue budget of £485m, a net budget of £342m and an additional capital investment
programme of £69m, a council tax increase of 4.9 per cent – down from the previously suggested 6 per
cent – has been proposed in order to fund additional budget pressures and cover a funding shortfall of
£8m, which works out as being the equivalent of an extra £1.50 a week for an average Band D property.
Following analysis of feedback from public consultation and a review of the funding required to meet
significant financial pressures in the coming year, the council has been able to disregard a number of
proposals, including cuts for home to college transport, fly-tipping enforcement and the Royal National
Council Leader Huw David said: “Without a doubt, in my seven years as Leader of the authority and 19
years as a councillor, this has been the single most challenging budget that I have ever been involved in
setting, and it is vitally important to understand two things – firstly, the overall context within which the
budget has been developed, and secondly, the fact that the council is not immune to the same difficulties
that are currently affecting every household in the land.
“As well as rising inflation and the ongoing cost of living crisis, we are continuing to deal with issues such
as huge rises in fuel and energy costs, difficulties in sourcing materials, additional demand upon specific
council services, and much, much more.
“This is in addition to dealing with increased demand and costs for services which support older and
more vulnerable people, the homeless and social care for children and adults alike.
“In recognition of these uniquely difficult challenges, we are recommending to Council a new, revised
budget which seeks to support families, promote wellbeing and protect the most vulnerable, one which
by necessity includes a much heavier focus on preserving existing services.
“This, then, is very much a ‘wellbeing budget’, one that remains firmly grounded in reality while reflecting
the priorities, pressures and concerns of local people, and I hope that it will be recognised as such when
it goes before full Council next week for discussion and a final decision.”
Councillor Hywel Williams, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “This budget reflects the reality which we
are all facing as the cost of living crisis continues to have an impact, and prioritises people’s overall
wellbeing in recognition of this.
“With an ongoing review taking place to identify further savings across all council departments and a
greater focus on back-office functions, the budget for 2023-24 seeks to prepare the council for meeting
increased difficulties and anticipated financial pressures of the future.
“Through our capital budget, we are investing more than £69m into new facilities and services, including
£1.8m for upgrading children’s play areas, £1.75m on grants to provide disabled facilities in people’s
homes, £1m on refurbishing local highways, and more.”
“We are saving more than £100,000 by switching to LED street lights, £75,000 through achieving further
efficiencies in supplies and printing, and are seeking to generate £120,000 by commercially letting wings
of the Ravens Court building.
“As just £2m of the £73m that we have had to save in the last 12 years has come from local schools, we
are asking headteachers to work with us this year on finding ways of saving a further £2.1m, although it
should also be noted that the net budget for schools will still increase as the council is funding the 2023-
24 pay increase.
“At 4.9 per cent, we have kept the council tax increase as low as possible so that it amounts to an
additional £1.50 a week for Band D properties. This will fund almost 27 per cent of the budget, and
contribute £90m from around 65,000 households in the county borough.
“Over the coming week, we will be issuing further updates which will provide more information on what
the budget means for specific services provided by Bridgend County Borough Council, including schools,
social care, highways, waste and recycling and more.”
The budget will be discussed by all members at full Council on Wednesday 1 March before a final
decision is taken.