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Swansea Council’s finances remain on course despite pressures on services

Swansea Council’s Cabinet has been a told that planned savings and prudent management of resources will see the council maintain its course and live within its means by the end of the financial year.

This is despite the pressures of rising inflation, energy costs and pressure on services.

Swansea Council invests an average £1.9m a day providing services like education, social care and community services that are supporting residents through the cost of living crisis.

And Leader Rob Stewart said that despite financial pressures not of the council’s making, it is making progress delivering on its commitments to residents.

He said: “These are very tough times for everyone because of high inflation, high energy prices and the cost of living crisis, and councils are not immune to those pressures. But we are standing side-by-side with the people of Swansea to get through the cost of living crisis.

“We are continuing to invest in new and improved school facilities, new, affordable homes for rent, maintaining our libraries, parks and supporting our leisure facilities.

He said: “We’ve been investing record amounts in front-line services and the recovery since the pandemic. Aside from inflation and energy costs, there are extra financial pressures this year because we are committed to delivering on our commitment to respond to rising demand for support from people with mental health and learning disabilities

The first-quarter budget report to Cabinet identifies around £13.4m of additional spending pressures. It recommends dipping into funds set aside to manage inflation and energy costs as well as bearing down on spending and costs and accessing reserves.

Cllr Stewart said: “We have already been responding by looking at ways we can reduce our costs and they are being implemented. Over the last few years and during the pandemic, the council took a prudent approach to financial management that protected jobs and services and allowed the council to build up its reserves.

“This has helped cushion the economic blows experienced over the last few months and will assist next year too.

“We are already doing more with less because the council has become smarter, leaner and more efficient. We have reduced back-office spending, automated services and cut red tape and that has helped slash the cost of what we do by millions of pounds. By radically changing the way we work we have achieved savings of tens of millions of pounds in the last few years.

“Despite the challenges we all face, we are determined to keep on delivering the vital frontline services that people in Swansea want.”