Agenda and minutes

Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Friday, 10th February, 2023 1.30 pm

No. Item




Councillor Paul Hinge apologised for his inability to attend the meeting.




Disclosures of personal interest (including whipping declarations) Members are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000, the Council's Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct. In addition, Members must declare any prohibited party whip which the Member has been given in relation to the meeting as per the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011.





Report on the draft Budget for 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 2 MB


Councillor Rhodri Evans, Committee Chair, outlined the meeting procedure and welcomed the Leader of the Council, Councillor Bryan Davies, Councillor Gareth Davies, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement Services, Committee Members, the remaining Cabinet Members, non-Committee Members and Officers to the meeting.


The Leader of the Council, Councillor Bryan Davies, presented the report on the draft budget for 2023/2024 including an updated multi-year capital programme, outlining that this is based on the WG provisional settlement, and that the WG final settlement is due on the 28 February 2023. 


The Leader advised the Committee Members that the higher than expected Provisional settlement increase from Welsh Government for 2023/2024 of 8.1% (on a cash basis) is welcomed. This should ensure that for the 2023/2024 financial year, services to residents in Ceredigion can be protected as much as possible, whilst acknowledging this is still an extremely challenging Budget. Key points from this report are as follows:


·       The cost pressures being faced by the Council total an unprecedented £22m, equivalent to a Ceredigion specific inflation factor of over 13%. This compares with general inflation running at 10.5% (December 2022 CPI figure). A budget shortfall of £12m therefore needs to be found from a combination of Budget Savings and Council Tax increase considerations.


·       The Leader said that the areas where cost pressures are being seen are generally not unique to Ceredigion. There are recurring themes similar to those referenced in the national press, which are affecting a range of public and private sector organisations, as well as individual household finances. They range from energy and fuel costs, to higher than projected Staff Pay awards, to contracts with inflation linked clauses.


·       There is also a proposed increase from the Mid & West Wales Fire Authority on their levy, which is at a level not seen before. A 13% proposed increase in their Budget is leading in turn to a significant cost pressure, in relative terms, on the Council’s own budget.


·       Demands on Social Care related budgets continue to increase, plus there is over £1.7m of funding within the Provisional Settlement (1.5% of the 8.1% increase) that needs to be passported to Externally Commissioned services in Ceredigion to ensure registered Social Care workers continue to be paid at least the Real Living Wage (which has risen from £9.90 to £10.90 per hour – a 10.1% increase).


·       Despite operational challenges at times in some Services, Ceredigion County Council continues to deliver high quality services that has been recognised by external regulators. The Council is assessed by Audit Wales as remaining financially stable, albeit recognising that financial challenges do lie ahead creating ongoing financial risks, which is not unique to Ceredigion.


·       The current 2022/2023 Band D Council Tax level in Ceredigion (for all components) is £1,777.27 which is in line with on the average Band D Council Tax in Wales at £1,777.18. Average Council Tax levels in Wales are also considerably lower than the equivalent average for English Unitary Authorities of £2,034 for 2022/2023. The County Council element of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


To confirm minutes of the previous meeting and to consider any matters arising from those Minutes. pdf icon PDF 85 KB


It was agreed to confirm the minutes of the meeting of the previous meeting as a true record and there were no matters arising.