Budget proposals approved for 2021/22

Posted on: Friday 15 January 2021

This week, Torfaen Council’s cabinet committee endorsed the latest draft budget proposals for the 2021/22 financial year for consideration by Council in early March.

Following the provisional settlement from Welsh Government, the challenging budget forecast has improved, with a like-for-like increase of 4.09% in Welsh Government funding. The receipt of the council’s settlement figures has provided the council with nearly an extra £3 million in additional resource above the initial budget estimates, to help meet previously identified budget gap of over £6 million.

The updated position for 2021/22 now presents a balanced projection for councillors to consider, with no service closures or major reductions.

The proposals include provision to fund national pay awards, a total cash uplift to schools of some 4.8% (£3 million) above 2020/21 levels, funding to bring some domiciliary care in-house, an extra £1 million allocated to assist in meeting the demand for Children’s Social Care services, support for active travel and energy management and funding of inflationary pressures to ensure an affordable waste service.

Torfaen council’s Executive Member for Resources, Cllr Kelly Preston, said:  ‘As a result of the positive settlement from Welsh Government and the Council’s collective financial discipline, both during this current year and in the development of the draft budget for 2021/22, I am pleased that we have been able to put forward a set of proposals that will see no major service changes and investment in our key priorities.

This is a good budget which both protects vital services and provides additional money for our most critical service areas.’

The Leader of Torfaen Council, Cllr Anthony Hunt, said: ‘The latest settlement is a clear indication that the Welsh Government’s appreciate the value of the local services we provide, especially at such a difficult time thanks to the covid-19 pandemic. This has allowed us to protect core services and key priorities. Balancing the books is still not easy though - we have experienced considerable cost, increased demand and service disruption this year due to Covid-19. It is therefore vital that Welsh Government are working with us to support local services during the most uncertain period we have ever experienced.

‘During this exceptional year, the role of local government staff in our communities has come to the fore. I’m particularly proud of the council’s response to maintaining services and going the extra mile to protect our most vulnerable residents through our approach to the shielding scheme. Council staff have worked to deliver a test, trace and protect service that is performing well above the privately-run service in England. They’ve administered the business grants schemes for businesses hit during the crisis, paying out over £23 million to local firms in Torfaen. They’ve also helped residents whose finances have been impacted, through the council tax reduction scheme, isolation payments and free school meal payments.

‘I’m pleased the 2021/22 draft budget continues to demonstrate our commitment to improve lives through learning, support for the most vulnerable and keeping communities cleaner and greener.’

The budget proposals will be scrutinised by councillors on the 28th of January and cabinet will consider the outcome of scrutiny and council tax proposals during February.

The final budget settlement from Welsh Government is due on the 2nd of March and the council will finalise a balanced budget on the 4th of March.

To read the full report visit http://moderngov.torfaen.gov.uk/documents/s47084/Financial%20update%20report%20Cabinet%20January%202021.pdf?LLL=0

Last Modified: 15/01/2021 Back to top