A COUNCIL leader has called his authority’s expected budget “extremely concerning”.
Cardiff Council recently revealed that it will have to find £53m in savings and income generation next year instead of the £29m it was anticipating.
The major budget gap is, according to the authority’s leader Cllr Huw Thomas, the biggest one that it has ever faced.
It has come about as a result of spiralling inflation, increased demand on services and lower than anticipated income levels.
The cabinet member for finance, modernisation and performance, Cllr Chris Weaver, noted that the anticipated budget gap had “significantly changed over the summer” and added that the situation is “very worrying”.
During a discussion on the budget report at a cabinet meeting on October 20, Cllr Weaver called the current situation “very uncertain and very volatile”.
He also said, in reference to former Prime Minister Liz Truss’ recent exit and its potential impact on the situation: “We don’t know what that means.”
“I think as a cabinet we will have to be mindful and update members of the council and members of the public.”
Cllr Thomas said he felt “anger” over how the situation has deteriorated since the council last gave its budget strategy update in July.
Leader of the opposition, Cllr Adrian Robson, conceded that “it has not been a great three to four weeks” for Westminster and added: “This is a very changeable beast and it is moving fast… it is important that we have as up to date information on this [as possible]. It is not a pleasant report to read.”
Cllr Weaver has still not given any indication as to where savings might be made and how funds might be raised.
In an interview with the Local Democracy Reporting Service recently, Cllr Weaver said: “We are looking at where there might be savings opportunities, where there might be ways to work differently, where there might be different sources of funding for services and what income potentially we can raise.”