Jobs set to go in Vale of Glamorgan Council cutbacks

SWEEPING spending cuts of at least £10m are to be imposed on public services in the Vale of Glamorgan. Council leaders meet tonight to agree a draft medium-term plan which will set the financial direction for the authority’s budgets and spending until 2013.

The outlook for the already cash-strapped council is not good. All services are likely to suffer and there are likely to be job losses at all levels.

In her report to tomorrow’s meeting of the cabinet, finance director Sian Davies says spending plans will have to be set against the available money, and cuts made accordingly.

She said: “Changes to the funding regime for local government in Wales were introduced in 2008/09 by the Welsh Assembly Government with the commencement of three-year revenue and capital settlements. Following the 2009 Budget announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the budget for Welsh public sector revenue expenditure faces the prospect of a £216m reduction in 2010/11.

“Consequently, the previously predicted increase in the council’s own settlement is expected to show a significant reduction from the original 2.93% Welsh Assembly Government predicted increase to that of about 1%.

“This lack of certainty as to the level of future settlements is wholly insufficient for forward planning purposes. However, as they constitute the best information available at present, they have been used to inform this medium-term financial plan.”

Ms Davies estimated the total shortfall in the council’s funding up to 2012 would be “in the region of a minimum of £10.4m”. Work has already started to identify savings and cuts.

If agreed, spending on learning and development would be cut by just over £3m, social services by £2.2m, environmental and economic regeneration by £2.1m, public protection and housing by £282,000, the youth offending service by £33,000, corporate services by £1.3m and other services by £1.3m.

Ms Davies said: “This will be a significant challenge for all services. Directors have been requested to identify specific proposals to achieve these savings by October 31, 2009. This will include a review of the council’s senior management structure by the chief executive where target savings of £0.5m have been set.”

She said similar cuts are likely in future years, adding: “It will be important to ensure that appropriate consultation takes place with our trade unions in relation to the staffing implications of this report.”