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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

County welcomes government cash settlement

Denbighshire County Council has welcomed the draft budget settlement announced yesterday (Monday) by the Welsh Government, describing it as “better than expected” and is one of the highest increases seen in Denbighshire since 2007/08.

The council is currently reviewing its budget for the next financial year and proposals to identify efficiencies across the authority are currently being considered.  

The authority has said there will be no compulsory redundancies for April 2020.

This week's government announcement suggests that Denbighshire’s budget will increase by £6.2 million in cash terms, an increase of 4.3%.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, said: “This settlement is definitely better than expected, but as we have pressures that amount to £11 million then we must still find savings in order to achieve a balanced budget.  

"These pressures include, for example, continued pressure on social services, education, school transport, waste services and pay increases.

“The council, like every other authority across the country, has been through stringent budget setting processes over recent years and some difficult decisions have needed to be made.

“We have previously made a firm commitment to Denbighshire residents to try and protect services that the public value and expect as much as possible. The council has a strong track record of doing this and we have tried to lead by example by being as efficient and effective as possible, reducing our budgets and making savings through not replacing some posts and identifying better ways of working or stopping some things altogether.

Councillors will continue to scrutinise the budget over the coming weeks.

“However, this is one of the highest increases in settlement we have seen for some time and we will continue to host discussions with Welsh Government to provide a more sustainable footing for local authority finances in the future."

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