Cuts likely for cash-strapped council
A CASH-strapped council is to ask locals for their opinion on what services could be cut to make further savings of nearly £7m in the next three years.
Anglesey Council have received draft details of the cash they can expect from the Welsh Government in the next financial year and council chiefs expect this to lead to a £2m shortfall.
In addition the council needs to find £600,000 to cover additional pay costs and £125,000 to fund the Energy Island project.
Officials have drawn up a list of possible cuts in services and savings and are to begin a consultation with residents next week.
Among the proposals put forward is a 4% increase in council tax. This could be increased to 5% with the additional cash raised spent solely on social services.
Staffing could be reduced with roles combined and vacant posts not being filled. Other measures include reductions grants to cultural organisations including community newspapers, stop having a council presence at the Anglesey Show, transferring the care of public conveniences to other organisations and delegating more of the repairs and maintenance budgets to schools. Council leader Llinos Medi said she was determined not to use council balances to plug the gaps.
“That would be unwise. Once that money is spent it’s gone.
“We’ve received a draft budget from the Welsh Government that gives us a shortfall this year of two million pounds.
“We are going out to consult with our proposals to the public to ask them for their opinion on where they want us to prioritise our services and if they agree with what we’ve got on the table.
“We are asking the public for their opinion regarding an increase of an extra one per cent for social services.
“But that’s just for us to ask people would they agree with that or not.”
Cllr Medi said she has discussed the constant cuts in Welsh Government funding with other council leaders.
“Unfortunately this is what we’ve had for several years. As an authority we’ve made £14 million of cuts over the past four years.
The 22 leaders of local authorities in Wales met at Mold recently.
“We were all discussing how difficult it has become to keep our statutory services at the standard we expect them to reach.
“We are constantly asking the Welsh Government to support local government because our services do make a difference to people’s lives.
“We keep people in their communities and we need the Welsh Government to realise how important local government is to the people of Wales.”
The public consultation begins on November 7.
Anglesey Council leader, Cllr Llinos Medi