Caerphilly Council to get £254.3m in annual grant from Welsh Government
Caerphilly County Borough Council is set to see its annual grant from the Welsh Government rise by 1.4% next year.
Provisional funding details for each local authority from the Welsh Government in 2012-13 would see the council receive £254.3 million – up 1.4% from this year’s £250.9m
The settlement was given a moot response from the council’s deputy leader Colin Mann.
He said: “If you look in comparison to England, we haven’t done badly. But 1.4% is still well below inflation.
“If you look at inflation in real terms, we are getting less than last year. It’s good and bad – we could’ve been treated more harshly but we weren’t.”
Cllr Mann added that the council had not made any compulsory redundancies to its workforce and that it had worked had to find efficiencies.
He said: “We’ll have to carry on finding ways to make those efficiencies to make ends meet.”
Announcing details of the Revenue Support Grant, Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant said the total funding of £4.019 billion for Wales’ 22 councils represents a year on year increase of 0.24%.
He said: “Despite the budget reductions imposed on Wales by the UK Government, protecting schools and social care continue to be top priorities for the Welsh Government. Both these services are, in the main, delivered by local authorities and the local government settlement for the coming years reflects this.
“The funding I am announcing represents a slight increase in local authority cash funding over the four year spending review.
“In line with the First Minister’s commitment to protect schools, funding inside the settlement for schools will increase by £80 million over a four year period.
“The Settlement also delivers on the Welsh Government’s commitment to protect the vulnerable in our society during these difficult times. I recognise that social services are facing pressure, and so by 2013-14, there will be an additional £35 million included within the settlement for local authorities to meet the pressure on these vital services for young and old.”
The Minister also announced that the £40m given to the Welsh Government by the Westminster Coalition Government for councils to freeze council tax will go to local authorities.
Caerphilly County Borough Council has already said it will not raise council tax next year.
The Conservative South Wales East AM William Graham criticised the settlement and its impact would be felt by councils in South East Wales.
He said: “While I welcome the Minister for Local Government’s decision to allow councils to freeze council taxes if they so choose, the reality is that the Minister has forced his choice upon our councils leaving them to justify his decision to their constituents.
“How can the Welsh Government claim to be protecting education and social services whilst cutting the overall level of funding? With this settlement the Minister is simply passing the buck with his expectation that local authorities will decide the balance between the need to sustain services for their citizens’ benefit and the need to limit additional pressure on hard-pressed households.”
Caerphilly’s Labour AM Jeff Cuthbert has welcomed the settlement.
He said: “At a time when communities across Caerphilly and the Rhymney Valley are being hit by the savage cuts implemented by the Tory-led Coalition Government, Labour is doing all it can to protect those most vulnerable in society.
“That is why we have decided to protect social care as there is considerable pressure on services during these difficult times.
“Labour wants to make sure children are given the best possible opportunity to flourish and reach their potential and that is why funding inside the settlement for schools will increase by £80 million over a four year period.”Follow @CaerphillyObsvr