Council Budget savings!

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    Council Watcher

    So the Council have come in under budget- there may be a bottom line saving but they are not stating how much extra funding came from Welsh Government and other sources in the form of grants which have gone to subsidise existing activities. — Look at Vibrant and Viable how many staff that were in the Council before are now being paid from VVP? Why haven’t staff been given the chance of investing some of the savings NOW to ease future pressures on services. Large amount of underspend goes to Reshaping Services budget — known internally as the Slush Fund– who controls it, how is it sent, how much is in it, what is the future budget use- Oh I forgot “we will bring a Consultant in to tell us how to spend it”!!
    The following is just a bit more detail on the questions OUR Elected Members should be asking at the Scrutiny to get below the surface of the budget report. Where is the budget management when some can go over by 200%!!
    Transport Co-ordination & School/College Transport – Total Budget £4,375k – (£667k overspend) analysed as:
    • Primary Schools (Budget £418k) – Overspend £430k. 100%
    • Colleges out of County (Budget £47k) – Overspend £112k. 200%
    • Special Schools out of County (Budget £206k) – Overspend £42k.
    • School Escorts (Budget £537k) – Overspend £253k. 50%
    • Shrewsbury / Chester Rail Partnership (Budget -£17k) – Overspend £34k 200%

    Adult Social Care:
    How much saving has been achieved due to additional Welsh Government Grant funding and existing services being recharged – Look at the Intermediary Care Fund budget—how much was double budgeting?

    Life Long Learning saving on Early Years and Youth Service
    Again what additional grant funding came in from Welsh Government for Flyng Start expansion to generate the surplus in this area. Early Education grant increases and European Funding.

    Prevention and Social Care—why should empty offices in Grosvenor Road be a budget pressure on this service when they do not have control of the disposal of the buildings – it lies within anther Department—as a result Social Care support is lower than it could be. Massive savings could be achieved by having full complement of Social Workers rather than so many agency staff.

    Leisure and Libraries- Increased running costs in Leisure Centre – what they actually mean is that costs from across the Department had been budgeted against Plas Madoc – now that option of creating such a massive deficit in the Centre is not available they have to pick them up centrally. Another example of why the Council showed a £450k deficit on running Plas Madoc. What information has been gained from SPLASH about how they have cut costs—what could be done immediately to have the same cost savings in other Leisure Centres.

    Corporate and Customer Services – the only Department decaling an underspend partly due to additional external funding—what about the other Departments that have had the extra.

    Legal and Democratic – how can you go overspend of £73k on setting up a centralised mailroom that was supposed to have reduced costs!



    Some very valid points Council Watcher. Obviously most of our elected members would not have the expertise to come up with what you have. You are the type of person that should seek election to the Council. The present salary band £13k/£47k goes to people, that in most cases are not qualified for that amount of salary.


    Good points both, but the identified budget / overspend figure is based on unrealistic budget forecasts set be so called ‘expert consultants’ who a couple of years ago identified massive savings on unworkable ideas. Money saving yes, taking into consideration of the requirements of SEN transport NO!


    Council Watcher

    Thanks for the update from todays Scrutiny Meeting — it would apper at last that some Councillors are starting to find their feet an challenge the “stand in” . I may not agree with Clr Jones on some points but it shows today that he seemed to have a handle on the issues being discussed.
    There seemed to be a number of fast shoe shuffle responses. Rates on Community Buildings, Lead Dep problems giving massive delays for dealing with matters.
    Perhaps one of the legal contingencies they are looking at is another fight with the Berry family over their Homestead — last time it cost £100k s or how many other ‘large’ legal challenges are on the horizon that are already known but not yet in the public domain.



    A new and fresh approach needs to be taken to the Council budget. The way that things use to be done, the old model, has changed and will never come back. The budget should be redrafted from the bottom up.

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