Decision details

Council Fund Budget 2019/20 – Third and Closing Stage

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To make recommendations to Council to close the annual budget for 2019/20 following the Council debate on 29 January and the further review work on corporate finance options and risks undertaken in the interim.


(1)       That Council is advised that the duty to set a legal and balanced budget is a primary duty and one which cannot be deferred or defaulted upon.  Council needs to take into account the expenditure requirement for both 2019/20 and the medium term in setting the annual budget.  In the absence of any change in position on the local government funding allocation for 2019/20 by Welsh Government, and given the professional advice and opinion provided by statutory officers, the only options which remain open to Council to balance the budget are Council Tax and the proportionate use of reserves and balances;


(2)       That Cabinet recommends to Council the further use of a combination of earmarked (£132k) and un-earmarked (£189k) reserves and balances of £321k to reduce the remaining budget gap.  A budget requirement of £2.781m then remains to be met by Council Tax (to include the levy for the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service).  An annual rise of 8.75% is recommended to meet this total requirement.  Once combined with the precepts of the Town and Community Councils and the Police and Crime Commissioner this annual rise will average out at 8.38% for a Band D property, equal to an additional £10.33 per month;


(3)       That Cabinet invite Council to note that a greater reliance on Council Tax to fund local services is inevitable given the funding policies of the UK and Welsh Governments.  The UK Government has set a policy of reducing Revenue Support Grant with English Councils expected to be more independent in relying on Council Tax, retained National Non-Domestic Rates and other income to fund the majority of their expenditure, and Welsh Government has made a working assumption that Council Tax will rise by 6.5% on average across Wales in its own budget calculations;


(4)       That Cabinet invite Council to accept the invitation of the Minister for Local Government and Housing to make proposals for a more sustainable and equitable funding system for local government in Wales; and


(5)       That Cabinet invite Council to form a cross-party working group, to be supported by internal professional advice and external expertise, to make proposals to Welsh Government and the family of local government in Wales to follow (4) above.

Report author: Gary Ferguson

Publication date: 20/02/2019

Date of decision: 19/02/2019

Decided at meeting: 19/02/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 28/02/2019

Accompanying Documents:

  • Council Fund Budget 2019/20 – Third and Closing Stage