At this time of year the Council is deep in discussion as it tries to set the budget for the next financial year, 2023/24, writes councillor Aled Davies.

The process culminates at a Full Council meeting at the end of the month. This is probably the most important meeting of the year for the Council as the budgets are set for our local services, such as Schools, Adults and Children’s services, and Highways, for the next year.

Powys schools are in a perilous position as the Liberal Democrat/Labour-led Council plan to underfund our schools by £3.846m and expect an additional £864,169 in savings. That is a total of over £4.7m less than required, despite our schools facing significant additional costs.

Secondary schools are expected to be £2.5m in the red at the end of this financial year in March and this could double to over £5m in the next 12 months.


The Labour Cabinet Member for Finance demands that schools should better manage their budgets but at the same time denies that his budget will lead to the loss of teacher posts. He is asking for the impossible. His budget will inevitably lead to job losses, and he should be honest about it.

This is a huge risk for our schools. Not only are their budgets unsustainable but we will see fewer teachers and fewer options for our children.

Schools appear to be the least important priority of Powys Council as they will receive the largest real term budget cut.

It was only a few weeks ago that leisure centres were threatened with immediate closure for which the Cabinet recently apologised and promised that there would be no more knee jerk reactions in the next 12 months and that all leisure centres remain open.

Though, according to budget papers, the long term future of the centres is less clear.

The current administration do have a problem with promises, especially pre-election promises. They promised they would not close schools. They promised that Council Tax would go no where near 5%. What will be the next broken promise?

Rumour has it, that a deal has been struck between the Liberal Democrats, Labour, and the Independents for Powys, that will see this dog’s breakfast of a budget passed. This will allow the Leader, Cllr James Gibson-Watt, and his Liberal Democrat team to continue to “reimagine” Council services which will inevitably see high schools close.


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