A published report to the Cabinet of Monmouthshire County Council sets out how it prepares for an uncertain financial future.
Monmouthshire residents rely on the finances of the County Council for many services including their schools, social care, highways, waste management, housing, leisure and planning.
More than 60% of the funding for these services comes as grants from Central Government – the UK Government funds the Welsh Government, which in turn funds local government.
The report sets out the uncertainty of this funding, noting that Central Government will not announce local authority funding levels for the financial year 2024-25 until 20 December this year.
If Central Government does not adjust its current funding projection of a 3% increase, the report shows a £14.4 million gap between the cost of existing services and the funding available.
Cllr Ben Callard, Monmouthshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Budget, said: “I am calling on both the UK Government and the Welsh Government to give us the certainty we need and provide the funding which at least covers the cost of inflation and the increased demand on services.
“We will ensure that we serve our residents well by delivering the best possible services for the money which is made available. If we do not receive funding which meets the cost of inflation then, inevitably, we will need to reduce the level of some services as well as increase the council tax and service charges.
“In the spring, we will need to finalise a budget which matches the funding available. We will be consulting the residents of the county on the choices that will need to be made in January”.
Leader of the Council Mary Ann Brocklesby said: “Like every other council in Wales, we are facing an unprecedented financial situation. Demands on our services are increasing while we have fewer resources available to deliver those services.
“Our council, as always, will put the needs of our residents first. The decisions we will make will not be easy ones, but we will find ways to protect our public services and meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents. I am confident that by working together with residents, we will make the right choices. Choices that put value for money, fairness and the environment first.”