NEWPORT will receive the biggest percentage funding increase of any Welsh council next year, while neighbouring Monmouthshire and Caerphilly are towards the bottom of the pile.
The city council will see the amount of money it is awarded from the Welsh Government rise by 4.7 per cent – worth an extra £13.67 million on top of the £289.31 million it received in the current financial year.
However Caerphilly Borough Council and Monmouthshire County Council will both have to manage with a 2.3 per cent increase – which is below the 3.1 per cent rise in the core revenue funding announced for local government.
As those increases are below the current 3.9 per cent rate of inflation they are effectively a real terms cut in funding.
The amount each council is given is calculated using a formula intended to take account of need and the ability of councils to raise extra funding from the council tax.
The Welsh Government has said no council will receive less than a two per cent increase and only the North Wales local authorities of Flintshire, with a 2.2 per cent rise, and Gwynedd and Conwy that have both finished bottom of the pile with the minimum increase, are below Caerphilly and Monmouthshire.
Blaenau Gwent is also towards the bottom of the table, in 15th place of the 22 local authorities in Wales, with a 2.6 per cent rise.
Torfaen’s settlement is increasing by 3.3 per cent, the sixth largest rise in Wales.The settlement means Newport City Council’s budget, from the Welsh Government, will grow to £302.97 million in the coming financial year and, like all councils, it will also be expected to raise additional funding from council tax.
Caerphilly’s 2.3 per cent rise is worth an extra £7.69 million on the £340.04 million it received for the current year, giving it £347.73 million for 2024/25.
Monmouthshire will only get an extra £2.79 million on top of the £122.56 million it got to deliver vital local services this year, meaning its award for next year is £125.36 million.
Blaenau Gwent will see its £139.81 million budget for this year grow by only £3.62 million, taking its total funding settlement to £143.43 million, while Torfaen, which this year received £172.27 million, is getting an extra £5.72 million for the coming financial year taking the award to £177.99 million.
Finance minister, Labour’s Rebecca Evans, said it is providing £5.7 billion to councils through the revenue support grant – the main funding source for local government – including funding to limit increase in business rates to no more than five per cent, though rate relief is also being reduced meaning some business will still see large rises in the amount they must pay.
Ms Evans said the Welsh Government’s overall budget isn’t “sufficient to meet all pressures” but she said: “This has meant taking difficult decisions elsewhere in the budget to honour our commitment to councils last year of a 3.1 per cent rise in their funding for next year.
“I appreciate the pressures local government is facing and recognise that demand for services, along with the recent very high rates of inflation, mean local government will still need to make difficult decisions on services, efficiencies, and council tax in setting their budgets.
“We will continue to work closely together to face these shared challenges and strive to make the best use of the resources we have in order to make the most difference to the communities we serve.”