Local Government Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced £4.107 billion of funding for local authorities in 2017-18.
Local government will see an increase in its funding for 2017-18 of £3.8 million compared to 2016-17. This is the first increase in the settlement for local government since 2013-14.
The settlement includes £25 million to support the delivery of strong social services which are vital to the long-term success of the health service in Wales. This additional funding recognises the growing pressures which social services face.
It also takes account of Welsh Government’s agreement with Plaid Cymru to provide local government with an additional £25 million through the settlement to support the delivery of vital services, as well as providing £1 million for school transport and £3 million for a pilot scheme to support town centre car parking.
Capital funding for 2017-18 amounts to £442 million, with General Capital funding for 2017-18 unchanged at £143 million. This means that councils will be able to press ahead in building new schools, improving local roads and providing vital infrastructure.
The Local Government Secretary also today published as much information as possible about other Welsh Government grant schemes planned for 2017-18. This identifies a further £650 million of funding for key priorities and will assist local authorities in preparing their budgets for next year.
Another essential component of the provisional settlement is the funding for Council Tax Reduction Schemes. Maintaining the funding through the settlement at £244 million will ensure local government is able to continue to provide vital support to nearly 300,000 of our most vulnerable families.
Announcing the provisional settlement, Mark Drakeford said:
“The aim of this provisional settlement is to give local authorities the stability to manage the difficult decisions that lie ahead.
“We know that councils are delivering their services against a backdrop of austerity and this settlement provides a platform from which to plan for harder choices which will lie ahead.
“The changes we are implementing this year are based on the advice of an expert group comprised of local authorities and independent specialists.
“The package also includes additional funding to implement a minus 0.5% funding floor which limits the impact on councils that would have seen the biggest reductions in their core funding.
“As a result, this is the first cash increase in the local government settlement since 2013-14. Under the funding floor, no council will have to manage on less than 99.5% of the cash provided to them last year. When added to the other sources of income available to them, many councils will be able to increase their spending next year.
“Within the overall settlement, councils will also receive £25 million in recognition of the importance of strong local social services and the growing pressures felt by this service.
“This is a stable settlement in challenging times and will allow local government to set sustainable budgets despite constraints on public finances.”