SAVINGS or new sources of revenue worth between £4 million and £7.3 million need to be found by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council over the next five years.

This is so they can balance future budgets.

These are the best and worst-case scenarios from a report, titled Bridging the Gap, which was presented to senior councillors by chief officer for resources, Rhian Hayden at an executive team meeting on Monday, July 26.

According to the report, Bridging the Gap: “identifies savings opportunities, potential cost avoidance and new revenue streams.”

This year the council needs to find £755,000 to fulfil that need in the hope it can post a £1.3 million budget surplus at the end of the financial year on March 31, 2022.

The report says that the strategy is also supposed to create the conditions for a more “commercially focussed council.”

Ms Hayden, said: “In recognising the challenge we face a programme of strategic reviews has been developed to deal with those potential funding gaps.”

“The budget gaps that we currently identify are based on the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MFTS) assumptions that were agreed earlier in the year.


“Over the summer we will review those assumptions to ensure they remain fit for purpose and to consider whether we need to change any of them in light of the current circumstances.”

Any changes could see the budget gaps either get better or worse and Ms Hayden said that she will be updating councillors on the strategy in the autumn.

This could then feed into the budget setting process for next year Ms Hayden explained that during the last financial year (2020/21) Bridging the Gap missed it’s £1.465 million target by £300,000 .

But the council did receive £570,000 grant from the Welsh Government to cover unachieved savings.

Ms Hayden added that the implementation of agile working and moving out of the Civic Centre in Ebbw Vale could save an extra £400,000, taking the full saving up to more than £1 million.

This could see nearly £2.5 million savings made in the 2022/23 financial year.

Council leader, Cllr Nigel Daniels: “The next report alongside the MFTS will be key to fully understanding the impact Covid-19 has had on some of the planned strategic reviews.”

He added that he felt the need for “assurance” that the work was now being done as the country “slowly and uncertainly” comes out of the pandemic.

Cllr Daniels said: “It needs to be a rolling programme, it will be the norm in future in assisting us set the budget hopefully with the next report there will be added information around those areas.

He would also be “happy” to consider new saving initiatives to “come on board.”

The Executive approved the report.