Council tax increase likely to pay for social care

September 26, 2018

Conwy County Borough Council could face a funding shortfall of £15 million as it manages an ever-increasing demand for its social services.
 
Speaking ahead of Monday’s Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Sam Rowlands said the Council was seeing a rise in the number of older people, children, and people with disabilities, who need specialist support.
 
Whilst the demand for social care is increasing nationally, the percentage of the population in Conwy aged 65 and over is the highest in Wales, which means even more support is needed.
 
The Council is considering a report which looks at ways of maintaining statutory care services ahead of the provisional settlement figures being released by Welsh Government to local authorities on 9 October. Initial predictions are the money given for 2019/2020 may leave the Council with a £15 million shortfall.
 
The Authority is faced with making significant cuts to service budgets and councillors are also being asked to consider an increase in the rate of council tax to help plug the anticipated gap.
 
“We will need to cut our cloth to meet any shortfall caused by the anticipated settlement figure from Welsh Government, but this alone will not meet the possible funding deficit. There will be a need to consider an increase in council tax which, based on a Band D property, could mean an increase of £2 a week. These are not decisions taken lightly but are essential to protect those people who need the Council’s services the most,” said Cllr Rowlands.