Council faces cut as grant reduced

First published in News

MONMOUTHSHIRE councillors say they might have to cut services due to the 4.5 per cent cuts in next year’s budget announced by the Welsh Government.

The final figure for cuts will come from the Welsh Government in October but Cllr Phil Murphy, Monmouthshire County Council’s cabinet member for resources said this figure is likely to be nearer to five per cent for the budget 2015/16.

The council had already allowed for a cut of 2.3 per cent in funding but now will have to cut a further £2 million above that.

He said: “This will place an intolerable burden on frontline services – services that have made great advances in delivering at lower cost. It cannot simply be left to local government to slash the services that people rely upon because other parts of the public sector have failed to make any meaningful savings.”

The council has so far not made cuts to services but said that may have to change. Last year, it saved £9.2 million through cost-saving measures such as agile working hours and desk-sharing.

The leader of Monmouthshire council Peter Fox said: “It makes a complete mockery of our medium-year financial plan as we can’t predict what figures our budget is going to be for the four years.

“The talk of re-organisation is somewhat a distraction from the real issue.

“It causes anxiety and de-moralises staff.”

The council will review council properties and offices and will begin a public consultation in September.

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