Cabinet Rejects Proposed Funding Reduction

Thanks to the protection afforded to Council funding in Wales by the Welsh Government, the Council’s Cabinet today rejected proposals to reduce funding across a range of services. 

Following an eight-week public consultation, RCT Council’s Cabinet agreednot to proceed with the closure of Pontypridd Nursery, not to reduce library staffing arrangements, to continue to support the enrichment budget within the Youth Services and to continue funding subsidised bus routes between Porth and Trehafod; Tonypandy and Gilfach Goch; Fernhill, Cefnpennar, Ynysybwl and Pontypridd. 

County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “The Welsh Government has sought to shield Council funding from the cuts Wales is receiving to its funding from the UK Government. 

“This support for local services from Welsh Government Ministers means that the Council now faces a smaller budget gap than originally anticipated, which today provided Cabinet with greater financial flexibility when it considered the feedback from the eight week public consultation around a number of services changes.

“In response to the feedback received the Cabinet today agreed:

–          Not to proceed with proposals to introduce single staffing at branch libraries

–          To reduce the Book Fund by 15% rather than 25% as consulted on

–          Not to proceed with proposals to reduce the Youth Engagement and Participation Service’s Enrichment Budget

–          Not to proceed with proposals to reduce the subsidy provided for supported bus routes

–          Not to proceed with proposals to cease provision of fee paying childcare places at Pontypridd Day Nursery  

“The realities of austerity flowing from the UK Government cannot be avoided and the Council’s initial budget gap of approximately £20m for next year cannot be ignored. We did however make a commitment to protect Council services as far as possible from public sector funding cuts and it is therefore important to note that less than £1.5M of the £20M savings required for the next financial year will be made through service cuts – clearly demonstrating we are delivering upon this objective.

“The rest of the necessary savings will be achieved through reshaping the Council as an organisation which includes identifying every possible efficiency, rationalising our buildings and properties, supporting digital working moving forward and reducing further our senior management arrangements. To date over £1.7M has been saved in management costs with a further third phase of reductions set to be brought forward this year.

“I hope the discussions at today’s Cabinet demonstrate that, where we have the financial flexibility, we will consider options and respond to the feedback the public provides us on the difficult decisions we have to consider to set a legally balanced budget.

“The changes agreed today will now feed into the Council’s wider budget strategy which will be considered by Cabinet and Council in the coming weeks.”

The overall saving of the service changes proposals considered today has now reduced the original saving of £937K to £657K.

The details of the meeting can be found in the Decision Notice  

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