AS part of the Powys County Council (PCC) budget which will see a five per cent council tax rise, £11 million of cuts is expected to be made.

This is so that the budget of 2020/21 will be balanced by March 31, 2021.

This is despite PCC receiving a draft settlement of £9.5 million more from the Welsh Government, which is a 4.2 per cent increase in real terms.

The report on the budget shows that PCC is working to three predictions of cuts or cost reduction, as the report calls it, over the next three years.

  • The worst case scenario is that there will be a £49 million funding gap by the end of 2024/25.
  • The best case scenario would be an £18.7 million funding gap by the end of 2024/25.
  • The most likely funding  gap could  £34.7 million by the end of 2024/25.

This will be bad news for Powys’ council tax payers, as to help plug the gap the report says there will be a need for five per cent rise to council tax each year to 2025.

Head of finance and s151 officer Jane Thomas said in her report: “A process of challenge and review with each head of service and the executive management team provides assurance on the completeness and robustness of the estimates, while highlighting the risks associate with deliver-ability.”

“The strategic approach to allocating resources ensures that the budget plan fully considers the delivery of vision 2025, the transformation programmes we need to deliver and ensures that service improvement and appropriate levels of statutory provision are included.

“Revenue and capital budgets are aligned and ensure that our limited resources are prioritised to achieve maximum effectiveness.

“The level of cost reduction in 2020/21 is again a significant challenge.

“When this is coupled with the need for improvement and the identification of further potential pressure in some services a prudent approach must continue to be adopted to support financial stability.”

In 2020/21 proposals have been made to cuts or “reduction in costs” include:

  • Staff “redesign” in Planning and Development Management – £196,000
  • Staff “redesign” of Property and Public Protection – £168,000
  • A 25 per cent reduction in funding to art organisations in Powys – £63,000
  • The Finance Department will be “transformed” – £252,000
  • Income from Bulky Waste Collection needs to increase by £22,000 and sees the fees rise from £30 to £40 – this comes after they were increased from £25 to 30 in 2019/20.
  • Restructure of Scrutiny, Democratic Services and Member Services team £176,000
  • The Education Services faces a cut of £511,000 which will see a staff review
  • In Children’s Social Services savings of £380,000 if costs of children in care (looked after) are shared with Powys Teaching Health Board.
  • £575,000 could be saved by – bringing five children back into PCC care or fostering and five could be brought back to PCC foster carers, that are closer to their homes and communities.
  • Adult Social Services are making changes that are estimated to be worth nearly £4.1 million.