Posted on: Tuesday 11 February 2020
The council’s budget proposals for 2020/21 received sign off today (Tuesday 11 February) by the council’s cabinet committee and will now go to full council on the 3rd of March for approval.
Following an improved grant from Welsh Government, the budget includes:
- Full funding of £3.4 million pressures in schools
- protection for the children’s services budget
- 1% savings from services which will see no major service closures or cuts
- A lower proposed council tax increase, reduced from from 4.95% to 3.95% (which for a band D property results in an increase of £51.96 or £1 per week).
- investment in support for small business
- investment in a school leaver scheme
- investment in key cleaning and greening priorities including a Spring Clean.
The report also set out the council’s medium term financial plan up to 2024/25 and outlines capital spending priorities including further investment in 21st Century schools, funding to reduce out of county care placements and support to address pressures at Greenmeadow Community Farm.
The council’s budget proposals were also scrutinised by councillors in January resulting in several recommendations being accepted and accommodated within the final budget.
Executive Member for Resources, Cllr Kelly Preston, said: ‘Throughout the year we’ve developed detailed financial plans for all services to address the £10m shortfall in our budget at the start of this year.
‘This budget strikes a balance between protecting and investing in priority services, keeping council tax increases to a minimum and avoiding damaging cuts to services and communities.
‘It’s finally good to be talking about protecting and investing in services instead of cuts, and while this budget doesn’t undo the damage and cuts of the past 10 years, I do hope this is the start of an improving picture for local government and the delivery of public services.’
The Leader of Torfaen Council, Cllr Anthony Hunt, said: ‘After a decade of austerity the pressure on local services is still great, but the improved settlement from the Welsh Government has made a big difference for services’ budgets. We can now work to preserve critical services, such as schools and social care. We’ve also worked to minimise the increase in council tax in recognition of the pressures on residents’ own pockets. I hope this budget marks the start of a different journey, one of reinvestment in our communities and the public services people rely on.’
The budget proposals will be approved by full council in March.
To view the line by line mitigations search cabinet reports on www.torfaen.gov.uk and to have your say on the final budget proposals visit: https://torfaen.dialogue-app.com/budget-proposals-2020-21