Every year the Council is required to set a balanced budget. The budget is normally set in March and runs from April 1st to March 31st.
In recent years, the financial climate has been very challenging. Less money going to the Welsh Government has meant less funds available for local authorities.
In Denbighshire, we have been planning and responding to the budget reductions without any significant impact on residents and front line services.
However, times are changing and we are no longer able to find savings through being more efficient. It’s now about making cuts to services.
Some difficult decisions lie ahead of us as we prepare for the 2019/20 budget.
We are looking at re-shaping the Council to deliver the budget cuts needed and over the coming months we will be providing information on where we propose to find those cuts. Despite all the talk about cuts, we are still investing in services, with £135 million earmarked for our corporate priorities over the next five years. We’ll be sharing that information with you too, as well as highlighting the work that we have already done to be more efficient, including joint partnerships, transferring some services to others and being more imaginative in the way our services are delivered.
Frequently Asked Questions
Based on the draft Welsh Government settlement announced in October, the real cut is expected to be £11.5 million. This takes into account the cut in Welsh Government funding and the associated increased costs in pay and pensions.
The Council has saved approximately £35 million over the last five years.
The current financial climate has been making headline news for a number of years. Westminster allocates funding to the Welsh Government, who, in turn, provide the majority of funding to local authorities.
In recent years there has been a continuing drop in the amount of money being made available to us.
The Council has been prudent in that it has seen this coming for a long time. We have not buried our heads in the sand. We have tackled this head on and have been working hard for several years to find efficiencies and savings. However, as our funding continues to reduce and costs continue to increase it is becoming much harder to balance the budget without affecting important services and increasing the amount of money raised by Council Tax.
Nothing is set in stone for next year. In recent years, we have kept Council Tax increases below 5% but as government funding continues to reduce, the reality is that more of the burden will fall on local taxpayers. The decision on Council Tax will ultimately lie with our councillors and it will be announced in early 2019.
We have been proud of the fact that we have continued to deliver high quality services to the residents of Denbighshire during these difficult financial years. And don’t just take our word for it. Denbighshire has been one of the best performing authorities in Wales for a number of years and this has been recognised nationally.
We have made a firm commitment to delivering the best quality services with what funds we have and that commitment remains in place today.
We are looking at absolutely everything. Every service within the Council has been working tirelessly over recent years to find savings, year on year. We have managed to do so without having a major impact on frontline services, but some cuts are inevitable. All services have come up with proposals and we are in the process of ploughing through them and will take some forward.