Carl Sargeant, Minister for Local Government and Communities
Today I am announcing the details of the final revenue and capital settlements for the 22 unitary authorities in Wales for 2013-14 .
The Overall Settlement
In preparing the final settlement I have given careful consideration to the responses I received to the consultation on the provisional settlement.
Next year, after accounting for transfers, local authorities in Wales will receive an increase of 1.5 % on the previous year’s revenue settlement. This is unchanged from the provisional settlement announcement I made on 16 October 2012.
The funding provided to Wales to provide council tax support following the abolition of Council Tax Benefit by the UK Government on 31 March 2013 has been passported into the final settlement. Consequently the settlement includes £222 million to provide council tax support to household in Wales: this is identified separately in the figures as a new responsibility. I am also making available £4.6million of additional funding in this financial year to help local authorities with the costs of introducing the new scheme and to help mitigate the wider impact of welfare reforms on the most disadvantaged groups by helping more people to access information and support locally.
Distribution between authorities
Table 1a attached details the relative annual increase in the revenue settlement for the 22 authorities, after adjusting for transfers.
Specific Revenue Grants
I am also providing local authorities with information on the specific grants they can expect to receive in 2013-14. Taken together, Revenue Support Grant and specific grants will provide authorities with a comprehensive picture of the funding the Welsh Government will provide in 2013-14, to allow them to budget effectively. In addition to the funding authorities will receive through the settlement, they will also receive over £754 million in specific grants. Included within this are major grants for areas such as Concessionary Fares; Sustainable Waste Management; Foundation Phase and Supporting People.
Regional Collaboration Fund
This new Fund was announced as part of the provisional settlement and is to be used to bring about real and significant change at a regional level. It will act as a catalyst by removing barriers, such as up-front costs, to the implementation of collaborative projects. Table 1b provides indications of the regional allocations.
With regard to the capital settlement, the capital allocation for 2013-14, including specific capital grants will be £ 414 million, slightly above the provisional settlement figure.
The General Capital Fund totals some £143 million. This is unhypothecated capital funding of which £54 million is paid as capital grant, with the remainder, some £89 million, being provided as support for borrowing.
Further detailed tables will be made available on the Welsh Government’s web-site.
A motion to the National Assembly for Wales to approve the local government finance report for 2013-14 is scheduled for debate on 8 January 2013.
This information will provide authorities with much of the information they need to set their budgets and associated council tax levels for the next financial year.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.