Pembrokeshire County Council 'must find £20m savings'
5:06pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
Pembrokeshire County Council will need to find £20m in savings, councillors were warned at a meeting of full council today (Thursday).
The announcement followed news that the council will be more than £6.5m worse off in core funding from the Welsh Government in 2014/15 compared to this year.
The 3.8% drop – from £173.25m to £166.7m next year – was announced by local government minister Lesley Griffiths on Wednesday (October 16).
In February, council approved plans to make £8.6m savings over the next three years - £1.6m in 2013/14, £3.5m in 2014/15 and £3.5m in 2015/16 – to deal with a number of service pressures.
Council leader Cllr Jamie Adams said that although the council was “well on the way” to meeting this year’s target, the £7m savings needed over the following two years fell “woefully short” and would need to be closer to £20m.
He added: “That’s going to present us with a number of challenges and they are challenges that we accept.”
Cllr Adams said the authority had a part to play in cutting costs, as part of a national austerity package.
“There is no doubt that the opportunity to make savings as we have done so far, as unpopular as they are – such as those of public toilet closures and fortnightly bin collections – let’s be under no illusions, that’s the low lying fruit in terms of the challenges we face going forward,” Cllr Adams told members.
But Cllr Adams: “It’s a solemn thought, but also an opportunity to provide for the future.”
He added: “Let’s ensure that the services we provide will be sustainable in the future, will be the services that add value to people’s lives, and will be the services that are needed.”
He said there would be an opportunity for engagement with citizens and other stakeholders, including town and community councils.
Early indications are that Welsh Government funding will be cut by a further 1.5% in 2015/16.
Cllr Adams said it was important that decisions did not impact “severely” on vulnerable people.