Local government has welcomed one of the best financial settlements since the beginning of devolution, recognising the significant challenges which remain for council budgets.
Councils will see an average of 9.4% increase to their core revenue in 2022-23, representing a £437m year-on-year boost. Indicative allocations for the next two years have also been published by Welsh Government, which will give welcome support to councils in planning ahead.
Councillor Andrew Morgan (Rhondda Cynon Taf), WLGA Leader said:
“This is a very welcome settlement and will be a massive boost for our communities. It provides investment for local services and gives councils the additional certainty in the future that is required in extraordinary times.
“The financial support for councils from the Welsh Government has been vital in responding to the crisis. A settlement of this scale helps put local services on a firmer financial footing than has been the case in a long time. This is the result of months of constructive dialogue between ministers, leaders and officials in local government and the Welsh Government.
“Investment in councils is more than figures on a spread sheet. It’s about investing in our communities, our people and in our vital services that help improve and change lives, whilst continuing to respond to two global challenges: the pandemic and climate change.”
Councillor Anthony Hunt (Torfaen), WLGA Finance Spokesperson said:
“Today’s announcement is a generous uplift in revenue funding and will help us deliver improved outcomes across all our services. I am pleased that additional funding for social care starts to address our long-held concerns about pay for carers and rewards those who provide the most critical services for the most vulnerable in our communities. This kind of positive outcome reflects our partnership approach to government in Wales and our regular engagement with ministers, and I would like to thank them for recognising the critical role that council services play.”
“The underlying increase in funding will meet our basic budget inflationary pressures and additional pressures caused by the increase in National Insurance but I’m pleased that the Welsh Government is also providing funding to pay registered carers the real living wage.”
Councillor Hugh Evans OBE (Denbighshire), WLGA Independent Group Leader said:
“I welcome this settlement announced today by Welsh Government. Not only does it recognise how our essential local services are playing a front-line role in responding to the pandemic, but also their life enhancing role every day of the year in our communities. More than ever before, our communities are looking to local government for guidance and support through these very difficult times.
“Local government will also welcome the funding allocations published for the next two years, which will place councils in much better stead to plan ahead with more certainty.”
Councillor Emlyn Dole (Carmarthenshire), WLGA Plaid Cymru Group Leader said:
“I very much welcome this settlement from Welsh Government, which is one of the best councils will have seen for a long time. It is testament to the constructive and regular dialogue which has been had with ministers and wider Members of the Senedd, which has certainly been appreciated by council leaders.
“While there is a lot to unpack, the funding announced for councils will also help to launch some of the bold policies outlined in the Co-operation Agreement, including free school meals for all primary school pupils. I look forward to continue to work closely with Welsh Government in developing approaches to those ambitions.”
Councillor Richard John (Monmouthshire), WLGA Conservative Group Leader said:
“This is a significant local government settlement from Welsh Government which rightly recognises the extraordinary role of our local services. I am grateful to ministers for listening to us as council leaders, and for making the most of the generous allocation given to the Welsh Treasury by the UK Government. It shows what can be achieved for communities in Wales and across the UK when local, Welsh and UK governments work together. This settlement will help us to make sure our cherished essential local services can continue to support our communities when they need it.”
Notes for Editors
The provisional local government settlement will now be subject to a seven-week consultation period, which will end on 8 February 2022 in advance of Welsh Government setting its final budget.