Council must save £12.9million in 2014 financial year

COUNTY HALL: Pembrokeshire County Council's main offices in Haverfordwest.  (3995367)

COUNTY HALL: Pembrokeshire County Council's main offices in Haverfordwest. (3995367)

First published in News

PEMBROKESHIRE County Council (PCC) must deliver cost reductions of £12.9million in the 2014/15 financial year, but our council tax is set to remain the lowest in Wales.

At a cabinet meeting last week, councillors moved to approve the authority’s cost-cutting budget proposals for 2014. An agenda for the meeting said the budget “has been developed against the backdrop of the most difficult financial settlement since the council’s inception in 1996”.

PCCs initial target was to save £7million between 2014 and 2016. As a direct consequence of the loss of grant from the Welsh Government, savings over that period must now total £20million.

The council is still waiting to hear if further grant cuts are coming.

Cost reductions of £7.1million are currently required for 2015/16, although that figure is subject to change until settlement figures from the Welsh Government, which cannot be guaranteed at this stage, are confirmed.

In April, council tax for a band D property will rise from £741.17 per year to £766.55, an increase of £25.38, or 3.4%.

Leader, Councillor Jamie Adams, said: “Council tax in Pembrokeshire remains by far the lowest in Wales, and I think we can demonstrate good value for money.”

Cllr Adams also said the council had a responsibility to protect services that aided the vulnerable.

The authority has already saved £2.3million through changes implemented last year, and will gain an extra £1.5million a year in revenue from the rise in council tax.

PCC plans claw back the remaining £9.1million it must save over the new financial year through changes to direct services, efficiency and cost reductions, and “vacancy management”.

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