Menu Close

Council tax freeze and increased spending proposals to go before Cabinet in Bridgend

The Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council will meet next week to discuss the local authority’s budget proposals for 2022-23.

The council’s medium term financial strategy has been updated to reflect a record 9.2 per cent increase in funding from Welsh Government – an increase of £19.6m when compared to last year.

If approved, the council’s budget proposals will mean:

 

  • No council tax increase for 2022-23.
  • No cuts to frontline services.
  • An extra £2.5m to ensure that all care workers receive a pay rise which reflects the real living wage.
  • An extra £1.5m a year for local primary, secondary and special schools.
  • An extra £1.2m a year for children’s social services, safeguarding and foster care.
  • An extra £650,000 a year for supported living services aimed at people with learning disabilities.
  • An extra £465,000 a year to provide specialist support for children with additional learning needs.
  • An extra £147,000 a year to support mental health services.

 

The council’s plans will also incorporate free school lunches for all primary school children and free childcare for all two-year-olds as part of a fully funded all-Wales Welsh Government initiative, and the authority’s own existing and ongoing commitment towards paying the real living wage.

Last year’s £2.1m support package allocated for people who have been made homeless since the start of the pandemic will remain in place for 2022-23.

The budget proposals include a £6.8m capital budget which, if agreed, will include £1.9m for disabled facilities grants, £1.1m for minor works, and £400,000 for street lighting and bridge infrastructure renewals.

It will also enable the council to invest £400,000 in new ICT equipment, £340,000 for highways structural works, £250,000 in carriageway works, £200,000 for match funding externally funded capital schemes, £100,000 for housing renewal and empty property schemes, and £50,000 for various community projects.

The report outlines how, out of an overall gross revenue budget of £480m, £131m will be spent on schools, £78m on social care and well-being services, and £22m on public realm works such as parks, street cleansing and the collection and disposal of waste.

If approved, transport planning and regeneration will receive £2.2m, while £1.7m will be invested in regulatory services such as Licensing, Environmental Health and Trading Standards.

More than £71.3m will be allocated to Band B of the council’s ongoing school modernisation programme, which is designed to deliver new school premises and other educational improvements.

Having cut £62m from the budget over the last decade, the report also outlines how the council will continue to make further efficiency savings through measures such as community asset transfers, exploring new ways to deliver services, rationalising council premises and more.

The proposals will be discussed at the 2.30pm meeting of Cabinet on 18 January 2022 and the agenda can be read online at www.bridgend.gov.uk