Difficult Decisions 2019/20

Difficult Decisions 2019/20

Why are we doing this?: 

Wrexham Council has a track record of making cuts - £33.8m in the last five years and nearly £60m since the economic crisis began in 2007/08. Over 3/4 of these have been achieved with minimal impact on the majority of the public and without having to drastically reduce the range of services we provide. 

However we are now at the stage where we are having to reduce these services (i.e. a tipping point). The money that UK and Welsh Government gives to us (which is about 3/4 of our entire funding) is already below the Welsh average per person, alongside this we have kept our council tax low and we are now facing increasing demand for services such as children and adult's social care. 

We have been lobbying the Government, along with other Welsh Local Authorities, for a fairer proportion of their overall budget. But unfortunately we found out in early October that we have not received enough funding to allow us to meet all of our budget pressures for 2019/20, and leaves us with budget risks for 2020/21. Therefore we have to find an additional £9m this year to balance our books. In addition, we cannot afford to take our eyes off the future, as even if we do everything we are proposing in this document, we anticipate we will still need to make further cuts of around the same amount in in 2020/21.

What do we want to know?: 

Last year's budget consultation included a number of proposals for 2019/20 (totalling almost £4m), and therefore we won't be asking you about those again. We have also identified additional proposals for saving money for 2019/20.  Some of these additional proposals will have minimal impact on you, and therefore we want to use this consultation to specifically ask you for your views about: income generation, waste services, library services and council tax. 

Unfortunately, due to the unfair settlement we have received from Welsh Government, making changes in these areas alone may not be enough and we are going to have to look at significantly changing what we do in other areas. As we work on reviewing and transforming our services, we will continue to involve you in these discussions along the way. 

We are keen to hear your opinions about all of the proposals we currently have for 2019/20; so please tell us what you think. 

More than ever, we also need to hear your ideas for what we could do to balance the budget we have and therefore there is an opportunity at the end to give us any other ideas you may have. 

What we found out: 

In October and November 2018, Wrexham County Borough Council asked the public of Wrexham to take part in the ‘Difficult Decisions’ consultation, to inform the decisions we had to make in order to contribute to the estimated £9million we need to save in 2019/20.

The consultation involved a survey and a market stall event. A number of individuals and groups also submitted letters/emails of response. 3,350 people took part in the consultation in all , and we would like to thank all those people and groups who took part.

What difference has it made?: 

A really important part of any consultation is feeding back to the participants about what has happened since they gave their opinions, and what effect their views have had. This process of feedback is about being able to show where your views have directly impacted on a proposal, and also explaining when there are times where we could not do everything suggested by the public (and explaining why).

So, we are now presenting this ‘You Said, We Did’ report to show you the final decisions that have been made about each of the proposals presented for consultation.

If you want to read all of the details about the proposals the Council made, and the results of the consultation, you will find a full report here.

Consultation start date 24 October 2018
Consultation end date 28 November 2018