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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

County gives details of its financial position

Denbighshire County Council says it continues to invest in major projects, with over £200 million either spent or planned for projects county-wide.
 
The authority says it is also protecting key services during difficult financial times.
 
Councillors meeting in County Hall, Ruthin yesterday were updated on the current budget position.
 
The council needs to save £15.7 million over two years. 
 
£7.8 million has been identified for 2015/16, with a further £5.2 million in 2016/17.  Further work is going on to identify how the council can bridge the gap.
 
Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance and Assets, said: “The vast majority (82%) of the savings made so far have been efficiency or other measures which have not negatively had an impact on services to the public and that has been down to careful planning and making savings through working more efficiently.
 
“We also kept our Council Tax increase low, with the increase of 2.75% being one of the lowest in Wales and this level of increase is the working assumption for 2016/17. Residents have asked us to keep any increases to a minimum and councillors agreed this was the right thing to do."
 
At the same time as dealing with a funding cut, the council set priorities to
protect and invest in important service areas such as schools, social care and the roads and has continued to achieve this throughout the budget process.
 
Some of the headline investments:
·         £96.8 m for schools
·         £18.4 m for roads
·         £21.5 m for social care
·         £16.1 m for floods and coastal defence
·         £26.8 for  economic development and regeneration
·         £6.7 m for leisure and libraries
·         £9.3 m on other key projects.
Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: “We are on schedule to deliver all of the savings identified for this financial year and are proposing a further set of cuts for the following 12 months.
 
“However, our approach is to trim down on services through being more efficient, identifying budgets that are historically underspent and cutting our cloth accordingly. 
 
“We are committed to protecting key services as much as possibly can and identifying savings through looking at all aspects of our services. This way of working provides confidence that the Council is working to protect public money through investing in those areas needed and saving costs through careful planning and monitoring.”

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