Why does the county council have to save £22m?
The Council’s budget settlement continues to be adversely affected by the UK Government’s austerity measures to significantly reduce public spending in order to address the UK’s debt situation. The council has had reduced levels of funding from Government for several years and this reduction continues. The Council must set a balanced budget therefore further savings are required to do this.
What is the council’s overall budget?
Including schools, the council’s annual budget is £237m with approximately 72% provided by the Welsh Government
Can it increase council tax?
Council tax is set by the council and makes up around 28% or £67m of the council’s overall funding. Council tax would have to increase by more than 30% per annum to meet the target.
Can it cut the number of county councillors?
The council cannot change the number of councillor who represent the county, the authority to reduce numbers lies with the Boundary Commission.
Can it cut the number of senior officers?
The council is reviewing the roles and responsibilities of all staff as part of its budget response.
Can it reduce the number of staff employed?
The council is reviewing the roles and responsibilities of all staff as part of its budget response. Staff numbers have been reduced by 10 per cent in the recent years and that process will continue as part of the budget response. The Council continues to explore more efficient ways of working.
Does the council have to provide all services?
The council has a legal responsibility to provide some services such as education and social services while others are discretionary. The Council has some flexibility in which services it provides but how the services are delivered is a decision for the Council.
Can the council share some services with other organisations?
The council is already working with other organisations such as Powys Teaching Health Board and that integration work will increase in the next three years. It is likely this will be a more important part of our future approach to delivering services.
Can the council ask businesses to pay more tax?
The business rate is not set by Powys County Council. The county council collects business rates on behalf of the Welsh Government and it is then redistributed by a formula. The council’s funding includes £39m from the return of non-domestic rates (business rates). The county receives more funding from this sources than it collects.