Difficult Decisions - Further Cuts Budget Consultation 2020/21

Difficult Decisions - Further Cuts Budget Consultation 2020/21

Why are we doing this?: 

Due to the decisions made by Government, Wrexham Council has had to make huge changes to the things we do and the way we work which have meant we’ve cut our budget by over £62m since the economic crisis in 2007/2008 – this is the same as over 25% of our current budget of £237m and means we have reduced our number of employees by over 600 people.  We have done this by becoming more efficient and have tried, wherever possible, not to reduce the range of services we provide. 

Unfortunately, the money that the UK and Welsh Government gives to us (which is about 3/4 of our entire funding) is already below the Welsh average per person and this year we are again expecting further reductions.  We are estimating that we will be around £9.8m short of what we need over the next two years – with £5.4m of this needed next year.  However, because of the uncertainty with politics and government at the moment, we won’t know the exact amount that we’re being given until November.  This depends on what the governments in the UK and Wales decide is important to them – but there is a chance that that the budget shortfall will increase to approximately £7.2m for next year.

Putting it simply, we are no longer in a position where we can continue to do everything we did five years ago and we are now beyond a tipping point – meaning we have no other option but to stop or reduce service delivery when the budget is being reduced by so much.  Due to the level of cuts being imposed on us by Welsh Government, we are left making unthinkable decisions, which will impact on residents.  We do not want to do this.

We will continue to lobby the UK and Welsh Governments until the point they realise they cannot keep cutting public services and we will do everything we can to support key frontline services, whilst continuing to review other areas to look for any last efficiencies we can find.

What do we want to know?: 

This consultation will keep you informed about some of the things we’re already doing to save money or increase our income (some of which we’ve asked you about before).  We’ll also explain to you some of the proposals we have for making further changes.  In some areas, such as social care, we are able to develop and deliver new services which are achieving better outcomes at a lower cost (see section on people below) these are positive changes enabling a better quality of life.  However in many other areas we don’t think we’re left with much choice about these proposed cuts, so we’d like to know what you think about them, and to find out whether you have any other ideas.  We’ve presented these proposals to you within the four themes of our Council plan: Economy, People, Place and Organisation.

Even whilst you’re telling us your views on what we have proposed so far, we’ll still be working to try and find even more places where we could reduce what we spend – in case our allocated budget from Welsh Government is as poor as we anticipate it will be.  Once we find out how much money we have to work with (in November) there won’t be enough time for us to come out to you with another budget consultation on any additional proposals.  However, we will ensure that consultation and engagement takes place with people and groups who will be affected, before any actions are taken.

The feedback you give us, along with feedback from other consultations taking place on individual proposals, will all be taken into account before we make our final decisions on the budget in February 2020.  To let you know how each of the proposals has progressed, and how your views influenced the decisions we have made, we will publish a report entitled 'You Said, We Did'.

What we found out: 

More than 1,384 people took part in the consultation and gave their views about the proposals we made, as well as making some suggestions of their own.

We'd like to thank everyone who took part for their time.

What difference has it made?: 

The results from the consultation were presented to Elected Members in order to shape the decisions they made about Wrexham County Borough Council's budget for 2020/21.

Consultation start date 30 September 2019
Consultation end date 13 November 2019


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LL11 1AR
Rachel Penman