Vital services to get millions more in cash support
Swansea Council is set to invest tens of millions of pounds extra this year in vital services that touch the lives of city residents every day.
Extra funding of £35m will see spending increases on schools and social care, while community services will get more support too as part of budget plans approved by Cabinet on February 16.
The proposals will now go to Full Council for a final decision on March 2. Full Council will be asked to agree an increase in council tax of 3.95% for the local authority and an additional 2% from Mid and West Wales Fire Service, taking the total figure up to 5.95%.
Rob Stewart, Leader of the Council, said that despite the steep rise in the amount being charged by the fire service, it's anticipated that the council tax rise will be less than average compared to other Welsh local authorities and significantly under the current 10% rate of inflation.
The total figure amounts to an increase of £1.30 a week to a Band B property in Swansea.
Cllr Stewart said: "Despite the national pressures of the cost of living crisis, inflation and our soaring energy bills, locally this council will continue to invest in education, care and community services which are the clear priorities of the people of Swansea in the year ahead."
Among the proposals being seen by council next month are:
- An extra £12.4m for schools & education, meaning there will be almost £214.5m to spend on supporting our young learners.
- £11.6m more for social care, taking overall spending to nearly £157m for child and family services, caring for the vulnerable and elderly and tackling poverty.
- Resulting in around £1.9m a day being spent on services for the people of Swansea
Cllr Stewart said: "The past year has been a tremendously difficult time for people everywhere. The cost of living crisis, rising energy bills and soaring inflation have forced households to make difficult decisions about what they spend their money on.
"It is no different for organisations like the council, energy bills alone are expected to jump by nearly £15m in the coming financial year."
Cllr Stewart said that strong financial management has helped the council weather national economic storms, such as inflation and rising energy costs.
"Strong financial management of our resources means that we are able to invest £60m this year while managing savings of around £20m in central budgets. This means extra investment of £35m is available to help protect frontline services. On top of this we have created a £10m+ energy support fund to help schools, care homes and other services, with their fuel bills."
It's estimated that the savings identified by council departments will mean around 61 posts could be affected, many already vacant, and work continues to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible.