A final decision on Wrexham Council’s budget for the next 12 months will be made this week – with all 52 councillors having the opportunity to debate and cast their vote.
The revenue budget for the next year has been several months in the making and been the subject of many private councillor workshops and public scrutiny meetings just before Christmas.
You the public had the chance to have their say on the proposed budget cuts / savings at the tail end of 2017, with 3,620 people taking part in the ‘Difficult Decisions’ consultation.
There were a number of controversial plans in the ‘Difficult Decisions’ consultation, which came under fire by both members and the public and councillors – including cuts to school music service, parking charges for Blue Badge holders and country park visitors and stopping the council’s PSCO funding.
However several changes to a number of the proposals have since been made, including scrapping plans to stop a £4 a day ‘bonus’ payment offered to some vulnerable people as part of the council’s Day and Work Opportunities scheme and reducing the proposed cut to PCSO funding.
While the bulk of school music funding will be withdrawn by the council, a £50k sum was recommended from April 2019 to mitigate the impact, and aim to be more ‘targeted’ in the spending in that scheme.
School funding, which was initially set to be frozen, has also been increased by 1.48%.
In January’s Executive Board a war of words broke out between lead members and opposition councillors during a debate about the budget plans.
Despite the concerns from opposition councillors the budget, which totals £232,871,963 in 2018/19, was approved by members of the Executive Board that month.
Now on Wednesday at 4pm a final decision on whether or not the budget is implemented will be made at the Full Council – where all 52 councillors will have the chance to have a vote.
The proposed revenue budget also features a council tax increase 3.8%
Councillors in attendance could also have the chance to debate various amendments if proposed ‘alternative budgets’ or other ideas are put forward.
All 52 councillors will have the opportunity (if present) to vote on the budget at 4pm on Wednesday 21st February. The meeting is open to the public and will also be webcast live on the Wrexham Council website.