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The future of Council services

An explanation of the Council’s financial position and a chance to have your say

 

The Council delivers a vast range of services from social care to collecting refuse, providing and running schools, maintaining highways, parks and open spaces, promoting regeneration and providing transport.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has a proven track record of success, having been named as the top performing Council in Wales for the third year running, when judged against a variety of performance indicators across a range of services.

 

The Council needs to set its budget for the next financial year. We have received a provisional settlement from Welsh Government which shows a further reduction in funding. 

 

It is clear that we will need to make difficult decisions on how we use our money to deliver a range of services so we would like your input. We are asking residents and other key stakeholders to have their say on the Council's budget and the future for Council services. 

 

 

 

 

  • What is the current position?

    The Vale of Glamorgan Council is facing a cut to its budget for the next financial year, as has been the case for the last six years. Since 2010/11 the Council has reduced its overall budget by £49 million. The latest figures show that the Council needs to save a further £10.6m in 2018/19, which is a 5% reduction of our overall budget. At the same time as having to deal with these financial challenges the demand for, and cost of, delivering key services such as education and social care continue to rise.

    Council tax provides 30% of the Council’s overall budget with the rest coming from the Welsh Government and other grant schemes. 


    The Vale of Glamorgan receives one of the lowest settlements in Wales per head of the population, meaning there is added pressure to reduce the cost of delivering services. 

    The average settlement across Wales amounts to £1,320 per head of the population. This compares with Vale of Glamorgan settlement of £1,167 per head of the population. This difference in funding levels is increasing year on year.

     

    Our low funding settlement impacts negatively on how we are able to fund key services like education. For 2017/18 the average funding per pupil in Wales is £5,628, whereas the Vale funding per pupil stands at £5,022. This gap in expenditure per pupil is also increasing year on year.

  •  How will the savings be achieved?

    We are fundamentally reviewing all of our areas of work. This includes considering how services could be provided in the future and by whom. We are engaging with Town and Community Councils and the Voluntary Sector in looking for new and innovative ways of working.

     

    Examples of recent initiatives include working with community groups to provide library services and sharing services, such as audit and environmental health, which are now run in partnership with neighbouring local authorities. 


    We are also looking at ways of generating income to help cover costs and to enable us to continue to deliver services that are valued by our communities.

  • Will services be removed?

    The Vale of Glamorgan Council currently provides over 1,000 separate services to over 127,000 residents. Given the scale of the challenge we now face, it is simply impossible for the Council to continue to do everything that it currently does when its funding has been significantly reduced over recent years.

     

    It will always be our goal to protect the services that are most highly valued by our residents. At the same time it does not make sense for us to continue to provide services that are no longer wanted or can't be shown to be benefiting those who use them. Where this is the case it makes sense for us to focus our resources on those things that make a real and positive difference to people's lives.

     

    It is for this reason that consultation on the budget is so important.

  • If services are being removed, why isn’t my council tax reducing?

    Council tax is collected locally to help pay for council services. However, the money raised by the Vale of Glamorgan Council by collecting council tax accounts for less than a third of our total budget.

     

    One of the ways in which we can lessen the impact of central government’s cuts to our funding is by increasing the income generated locally. Your council tax is one of these forms of income. 

     

    Despite the difficult financial pressures facing the council we have been able to keep the Vale’s council tax below the Welsh average. Currently, the average Band D house in the Vale pays £1,142 a year, while the highest Band D council tax in Wales is £1,754 a year.

  • How else can the Council raise more income?

    One of the other ways in which we can increase the amount of money that we have to fund our services is by reviewing the way in which we charge for some of these services.

     

    A 1% increase in Council tax constitutes  approximately £661,000 against an annual budget of approximately £215 million. 

     

    Many non-statutory services (the ones that we are not legally required to provide) currently have small charges. There are currently no charges in place that fully cover the cost of the Council providing those services.

     

    Recouping some of the costs of delivering services will allow us to retain and sustain essential services  and this is something that requires careful consideration.

     

    We are also looking at how we might be able to generate income and offset costs by using our expertise to offer services to others, and by increasing penalties for antisocial activity and non-compliance such as littering, dog fouling, or failing to follow waste collection guidelines.

  • What can I do about it?
    The best services are those that are designed in partnership with those that use them and we know that we can only achieve what we have set out to by effectively engaging Vale residents in the process.

     

    The easiest way for you to get involved in shaping the future of the Council is by responding to consultations and requests for feedback whenever possible.

     

    Complete our online survey about the 2018/19 budget.

     

    Survey