Monmouthshire County Counci's chairman, Councillor Mary Ann Brocklesby has thanked councillors for putting the needs of local residents first and helping pass the Labour administration's first budget.
On Thursday, for the second time in a week, the MCC administration set out its budget for the year ahead at a meeting when councillors heard how the cost of living crisis had impacted significantly on the council with energy costs, inflation, price rises and rising interest rates all contributing factors in the struggle to balance a budget
The size of the budget challenge prior to any intervention, was over £26million. Income and funding has increased by 9% (£16million) to meet some of these costs, but the council had still been left to find savings of 5% (£10million) from services.
We can now push forward and work with residents and partners to redesign and deliver services fit for these uncertain and challenging times.”
Cllr Mary Ann Brocklesby
The council agreed a council tax increase of 5.95% for the coming year. The budget includes some very significant spending uplifts with £2.5million more for schools, £3.6million more to support children in the care system, £1.9million to ensure nobody has to sleep outdoors, £1million for the care of older members of our community and a £500k increase for the maintenance of roads, pavements and other highways infrastructure.
Council Leader, Cllr. Mary Ann Brocklesby said: "This has been a challenging budget process in which the funds available to the council have not met the rising cost of delivering services. Difficult decisions have needed to be made as we reorganise our services to meet the limited funds available. We have been able to work across the council to come to a common understanding reflected in today’s budget agreement. I thank group leaders and members for putting the needs our residents first in coming to a consensus.
“This is a budget which places the council in a position to continue to deliver on its values and priorities: to tackle inequality, protect our environment as well as the wellbeing of the most vulnerable adults and children whom we serve. We can now push forward and work with residents and partners to redesign and deliver services fit for these uncertain and challenging times.”