This time last month we reported how Cllr Neil Rogers said “We have to find a new way of thinking, there is a root and branch review of all areas. We need to think different.” as the council told of how £10,000,000 of savings were required over two years and £30 Million over five years.
Today we can reveal the figures are savings of £3,900,000 but with the council targeting £5,000,000 as next year savings are due to be £6,000,000. 2014 sees the target rise to seven million pounds, then nine million the following year, and then for the next year (2016) a further nine million pounds – a grand total of around £36,000,000 but expected to reach £40,000,000.
The council’s total net budget of around £212 Million has in effect seen a 18% cut , however such cuts and issues are not limited to Wrexham , with the council saying ‘every council is faced with the same challenges’.
At the same time Supporting People Contracts funding from the Welsh Government has transferred to the council since August 1st. Proposals are before the Executive Board to deal with the changes, and to bring end dates for four contracts in line with others so any future decisions can be done with minimum fuss. Cllr David Griffiths , Lead Member for Health and Audit, said he “hopes that the Executive Board approve it” and “nobody suffers from the changes”.
Funding figures have been issued until 2015 showing budget reductions of up to 13%. The report says “To manage these reductions Wrexham Supporting People Team will need to review all services currently funded under the programme.” You can view the PDF of details here.
One example of the council ‘thinking different’ is by redistributing savings immediately, with the Employment Futures Project and the move in October to revised mileage arrangements opening up £150,000 as a one off gain which is proposed to be ‘spent’. Four areas have been identified to benefit, from town centre signage to improving pathways for vulnerable older people.
We reported on the new Wrexham Map with £10,000 being earmarked for “printing the new maps; the purchase of new map and
information holders around the town centre; and tear-off pads of maps for the One Stop Shop and Tourist Information Centre to use”. (The full report is here)