A GROUP of councillors set up to get more cash for Powys County Council (PCC) from the Welsh Government has met but needs more information.

At the meeting on Tuesday, September 17, portfolio holder Cllr Aled Davies (Conservative – Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant/Llansilin) explained that the savings needed this year had gone up to of £21.692 million.

This is because £8.7 million of savings supposed to be made by Social Services (Adult and Children’s) had been added.

Portfolio holder for Corporate Governance, Housing & Public Protection, Cllr James Evans (Conservative – Gwernyfed), said: “I know there is a group set up to look at the funding formula from (the) Welsh Government.

“I just wonder if we could have an update on how that group is getting along and the progress being made to date?”

Head of finance, Jane Thomas, said: “The group have met.

“The funding formula is quite complex to say the least.

“We are now waiting to receive the information around a rural analysis that will give them some more data to look at. They will then be able to focus in on certain elements that they think could potentially impact the most and take it forward.”

This year PCC had a budget of just over £247 million

The Welsh Government funding settlement gives PCC 70 per cent of the money.

For the last decade PCC has been at the bottom of the funding table, receiving less, while other councils have had funding increases.

The other 30 per cent of the budget is made up by the Council Tax.

This year the Council Tax increased by 9.5 per cent to try to make up the difference.

It is expected that another increase will happen next year.

The funding working group was set up following a suggestion made by Cllr Iain McIntosh (Conservative – Yscir) during the budget discussions earlier this year.

The funding formula from the Welsh Government takes into account levels of deprivation which are mostly seen in towns and cities.

This means that the funding is weighted to give funding to urban councils.

Councillors in Powys have been angry, believing that this situation is unfair and does not take into account the size of the county and the costs of delivering services in the countryside.

They want to see the Welsh Government look at the local authorities funding formula and recognise the need to make it fairer to all.