THE Finance Panel have highlighted their concerns about Powys County Council’s (PCC) draft budget proposals, in a report with key issues highlighted.

At their last meeting in January, members of the panel which include, group leaders and committee chairmen were unhappy that they had not been shown the draft budget before the proposals had been made public.

The report is included in the papers for tomorrow’s meeting, Friday, February 21.

Finance panel chairman and independent member, John Brautigam, said: “The panel’s role in the budget process has been limited as access to the proposals were only available at the same time as they were released to the public.

“There had been an expectation that there would be involvement through the process.

“In recognising the external factors which have affected process, the Finance Panel are pleased that the budget proposed is not as draconian as it might have been had the additional funding from the Welsh Government not been available.”

In January PCC’s cabinet announced a draft budget showing how they intend spending nearly £270million.

This follows the announcement in December 2019, that PCC will; receive a draft settlement including £9.5 million more from the Welsh Government, which is a 4.2 per cent increase in real terms.

But PCC believe that £11million will still need to be found in 2020/21 in cuts or cost reductions.

PCC is working to three predictions of cuts or cost reduction needed by the end of the 2024/25 financial year.

The worst case scenario is that there will be a £49 million funding gap

The best case scenario would be an £18.7 million funding gap

The most likely funding gap is a £34.7 million funding gap.

The Welsh Government is due to finalise their budget settlement on Tuesday, February 25.

PCC  are set to discuss the budget at a Full Council meeting on  Friday, February 28 and finalise it on Thursday, March 5.