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County's budget gap rises by PS2.5m.

CONWY'S budget gap has jumped by almost PS2.5 million in the last month.

A combination of a poor settlement from the Welsh Government and extra costs have seen the council's money woes grow.

The biggest hit was in the money it gets from the government, adding PS1,138,000 to the gap.

This was followed by an PS840,000 bill for teachers pensions that will kick in next year.

The amount of money the council had been short by to set a balanced budget was PS14,856,000 but with these additional pressures it has gone up to PS17,615,000.

The cash strapped council has already looked at cuts to services, brought in monthly bin collections and is also considering an 11% council increase to try to bridge the gap.

Cllr Sam Rowlands, the cabinet member for finance and resources, said: "The provisional settlement is extremely disappointing for Conwy and local government in Wales as a whole.

Despite a promising start from the cabinet secretary for local government and public services, it has saddened me to see that he has chosen to punish local government because we have not bent to his will of council mergers."

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: "As a result of the Conservative UK Government's failed and damaging policy of austerity, our budget will be 5% lower in 2019-20 than it was in 2010-11, meaning there is PS850m less for frontline services.

"We have worked hard to offer local government the best settlement possible in this ninth year of austerity and have made further allocations to mitigate most of the reduction councils had been expecting following the final budget last year.

"We are currently working to understand the full impact of the UK Autumn Budget on the resources available to Wales.

"We have said in the event additional funding is available, local government would be a key priority."

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 6, 2018
Words:314
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