Wrexham Council met last night to discuss, amongst other things, the 2013/14 revenue budget for the Council and Council Tax implications.
Earlier this year a net budget of £229,146,235 was agreed, however the Welsh Government are deferring the effects of the Council Tax Reduction scheme for twelve months thus there is a new net budget of £230,047,972 – additional funding of £901,737.
There is also a table that gives information on the Council’s revenue and expenditure. We have graphed the figures below, as we think it is interesting to see how much is raised from Council Tax and the like, and which areas get the most spend.
The budget is in the context of £40 million of cuts over five years, which are being found via ‘transformation programme projects’ and reviews. There are details of inflationary assumptions, for example 1% & 2% rises in teachers pay.
The Head Of Finance comments in the report “Although the financial settlement for 2013/14 only provides the capacity for the Council to set a budget which includes unavoidable commitments and limited service pressures, every effort has been made to protect social care services and schools.”
Rhosddu, Acton, Caia Park and Offa all get a £4.39 allocation of Council Tax to pay for town centre lighting, the full breakdowns of the new council tax charges can be found on the last few pages of the PDF report here.
The report also gives the debt and financing position of the council. The Council currently has £144.7m of debt and £46.6m of investments. £23.8m of this debt is stated as being via LOBO loans (Lender’s Option Borrower’s Option) of which £19.3m of these can be ‘called’ within 2013/14. There is quite a good explanation with worked example on what a LOBO is here.
The report goes into great depth on the full basis for financial choices, and in a section where interest rate levels are discussed an insight is given on how global events can have a knock on effect to the people of Wrexham. This is detailed where national interest rates could be altered by “Impending Italian and German elections, US debt ceiling impasse, difficulty surrounding Cyprus’ bailout, and contagion returning the haunt the European peripheral nations”.
The full report can be viewed on the Council’s website as a PDF file here, and although its long, its well worth a read!