The Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council has unveiled an ambitious draft budget for 2021/22 that will allow the authority to continue its journey of ‘improvement and transformation’ following the significant disruption of the past 12 months.
The council’s Cabinet will discuss the draft budget report at its meeting on Wednesday (13th January) before final budget proposals are considered in February.
Cllr Philippa Marsden, Leader of Council said, “The positive financial settlement announced by Welsh Government has allowed us to focus on the delivery of our key services, rather than making the type of cuts that local authorities have experienced over recent years.”
“Caerphilly Council is on a journey of improvement and transformation and these proposals will provide a sound platform for us to move forward,” she added.
The key features of the budget proposals will allow the council to:
- Maintain service provision across the organisation.
- Fund increasing demand and service pressures in key areas such as Social Services and Education.
- Enable new community focused investments in areas such as Caerphilly Cares and the proposed Community Empowerment Fund.
- Provide the capacity and resilience required to drive forward the Team Caerphilly Transformation Programme and ‘Place Shaping’ investments.
Despite the positive overall picture, the council is keen to highlight that the settlement from Welsh Government does not cover the implications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – both in terms of increasing costs as well as lost income. This will continue to be funded through grants and the position will be kept under close review.
The draft budget proposals also include a proposed increase of 3.9% in Council Tax for 2021/22. This would equate to an increase for Band D properties of 89p per week.
Cllr Eluned Stenner, Cabinet member for Finance said, “The positive financial settlement from Welsh Government is to be welcomed, but there are challenges ahead so our ambitious transformation programme will be a key element to help the authority remain financially resilient.”
“I’m sure residents will welcome our budget proposals and we will further scrutinise the details over the coming weeks before Council considers the final budget report in February.”