Bridgend Council cuts pared back after better than expected budget settlement

Tomorrow, Bridgend Council’s Cabinet will discuss draft council budget proposals for 2020-21, weeks after the Welsh Government published the provisional local government settlement (pdf).

Since 2010, BCBC has had to make £68million of cuts and savings and after years of cuts, in 2020-21 the amount of money Bridgend Council can use on day-to-day spending (revenue spending) is set to increase by 4.6%.

Despite the better than expected budget, the draft proposals include £2.45million worth of cuts and savings for next year – though this is far lower than in previous years.

The bulk of the draft cuts and savings (pdf) are expected to fall on social services (£820,000) and the council’s administrative costs (around £1.1million). £505,000 of savings are described as being potentially difficult to deliver.

Some of the most unpopular budget proposals are still on the table – including changes to home-school transport and the controversial plans to increase sports pitch and pavilion hire fees – but the budget does allow some wriggle room as to when the policies could be introduced.

Council tax – which makes up around 30% of BCBC’s income – will still increase, but instead of the original proposal of an at least 6.5% increase, it’s now expected to be a 4.5% increase.

The final version of the council budget is due to be published and discussed in February.

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