The context: budget pressures 2022 to 2023
This document should be read before answering the consultation.
The financial pressures for 2022 to 2023 can be set out as follows:
Increase in looked after children - £486k
There are pressures in relation to the costs of specialist residential placements, which cannot be dealt with locally.
In addition, the number of children who are referred to the Specialist Children’s Service has increased by 67% over the last 3 years and changes to various pieces of legislation will result in additional pressure on this team.
The additional investment in the service will allow us to cover these increased pressures.
Capacity in the Resources Service - £56k
The additional funding will increase capacity within the Service, which will allow for the modernisation of business systems and business processes.
This will improve efficiency and provide better customer service to both internal and external customers.
Increased demand in the Learning Service – £1,120k
The additional investment will allow the service to address current and future demand within the sector.
Our leadership and management capacity, the new ALN bill, current and future Information Technology requirements, as well as new challenges due to the pandemic, are all areas that are being considered.
The investment will also assist with aim of achieving excellence across all education sectors.
At present, we have no schools in Estyn ‘special measures’ categories and we will now focus on the aim of achieving excellence.
Maximising capacity in the Council’s ability to transform services as a result of the impact of the pandemic – £297k
Additional investment will increase capacity within the Service to provide support to services to continue to modernise and improve services and processes, in particular improving information technology systems, which will be central to our transition following the pandemic.
Increased pressure in Adult Services – £489k
The additional investment will provide funding to deal with increasing demand, but it will also increase capacity within the service, to transform and modernise business processes and service delivery.
This will reduce commissioning risks and provide better methods of measuring the performance and effectiveness of the service in future.
Highways, Waste and Property - £446k
The additional investment will provide additional funding to address emerging risks and priorities across the service (decarbonisation, ash dieback, changes in the demand for services and public expectations post-Covid in terms of hygiene and the cleanliness of public buildings).
It will also allow projects to be developed to apply for external grant funding, particularly in response to the Council’s objective of becoming a carbon-free organisation by 2030.
Regulation and Economic Development - £196k
The additional investment will cover three main areas within the Service; Maritime, Public Protection and Economic Development.
Maritime – The investment will improve the capacity to ensure that all users of maritime areas can be managed more effectively and it will allow for the better identification and mitigation of marine risks and the management of watercraft.
Public Protection – ensuring a safe and healthy living and working environment for residents and business is a clear corporate duty. The additional investment will allow the Service to respond effectively to environmental concerns and incidents.
Economic Development - the Island faces many socio-economic challenges. It is imperative that the Service possess the ability to address these issues in a co-ordinated and effective manner.
The aim will be to secure inward investment to the island, influencing regional economic activities and supporting the Island’s critical economic assets.
In addition to Welsh Government support in relation to revenue expenditure, the Council also receives £3.643m of funding to undertake capital projects.
The main priorities of the Council’s capital strategy highlight the use of such investment on major repairs and maintenance to schools and other Council buildings, increase the budget for maintaining the road network, improving public toilets, vehicle replacement as they come to the end of their operational life and maintaining and upgrading information technology infrastructure.
Any additional projects must be funded from external grants, additional borrowing and by using the Council’s reserves.
The Council proposes to use up to £1.681m of its general reserves to fund part the capital plan and £1.795m from its earmarked reserves to fund the majority of the remainder of the plan (there is a question on this in the consultation).