Councils across Wales are facing unprecedented financial pressures and Monmouthshire is no exception. A report published today highlights a forecast of a budget pressure of £8.8million in the current financial year.
The main areas of sustained pressure are in record levels of adult social care placements, demand for expensive and very complex children's placements, homelessness at previously unknown levels and home to school transport costs increasing through fuel prices and a very unstable transport market. The cost of living crisis and other inflationary pressures have combined to provide an economic situation which has caused serious challenges to our budget. These have only got worse in the last few days with the mini-budget leading to a hike in interest rates.
After reviewing the situation, Monmouthshire is expecting a £8.8 million budget shortfall this year.
Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr. Rachel Garrick, said:
“We have inherited low reserves from the previous Conservative administration. This has directly affected the way in which the council can withstand the current chaotic economic climate.
“We are working with officers to identify significant savings for the current financial year. Tough decisions will need to be made. We understand that we cannot spend money we do not have. We will work with all those who use and deliver our services to find new ways forward that protect our most vulnerable residents, our services and communities.”
Cllr. Mary Ann Brocklesby, Leader of Monmouthshire County Council said:
“There are no easy answers to this situation which will bite all across the county. I am grateful for the work done already in highlighting an issue that has to be faced. The priority of this Administration is to address inequality and be good custodians of our natural environment as we adapt to a world impacted by climate change. We need high quality services in place that prevent people falling into crises and helping those that do to regain control of their lives. This is no easy challenge and it is important that we give ourselves the time to construct a thoughtful response to it.”