Gwynedd Council have drawn up a list of 65 cost cutting measures and propose a 5.5% increase in council tax to meet a financial deficit of £13 million in 2019/20.
The proposals include increasing car parking charges, additional fees
for the before school clubs, increasing fees for garden waste collection and increasing the cost of cremation.
In response to a consultation the people of Gwynedd have already told the council they want to:
- Protect front line services
- Protect Care and Education
- Protect the Public Transport budget
- Limit the cuts that effect the Business Sector
The Council anticipates they will be able to reduce the shortfall to £6.8 million by delivering savings that are already scheduled to be implemented along with various other arrangements. The Council has also identified opportunities to further reduce ‘back office’ costs and to work more efficiently to save an additional £2 million in ways which it hopes will not have a negative impact on the people of Gwynedd.
To address the remaining £4.8 million gap the councils’ preferred option is to implement the cost cutting measures and also increase council tax by 5.5% and say they have “no option but to consider implementing more savings and increasing Council Tax.”
Gwynedd Council’s Chief Executive, Dilwyn Williams said: “For more than a decade, the Council has had to contend with cuts in the funding available to provide local services for the people of Gwynedd. We are now reaching the end of what is possible without having to implement significant cuts to front line services.
“It was clear from the recent ‘Gwynedd People’s Priorities’ public engagement exercise that the vast majority of services the Council provides are important or vitally important either to local residents as a whole or to a particular community or group of people within the county. I’d like to thank everyone that took part in that particular exercise and I would stress that the proposals that are now being considered are a genuine attempt to address the financial gap in ways that reflects the priorities of the people of the county.
“In accordance with what residents have said, we are proposing that the Council should further reduce ‘back office’ costs to keep cuts to front-line services to an absolute minimum. In particular, the proposals are an attempt to respond to the clear message that the two areas which account for around two thirds of the Council’s budget, namely education and care, should be protected.
“We have also listened to feedback from specific groups such as young people and older people and as a result it is recommended that the public transport budget should be protected whilst cuts that affect the business sector are to be limited to an absolute minimum.”
Before Gwynedd councillors agree the Council Tax rate and the Financial Strategy for April 2019 onwards, there’s an opportunity for the people of Gwynedd to have their say on these options, that also include options that will help the Council over the coming years.
Questionnaire closing date: 31 January, 2019.
The results from this survey will contribute towards the information that Gwynedd councillors will consider before coming to a final decision at their full Council meeting on 7 March 2019.