THE leader of Vale of Glamorgan Council has said his authority faces “little choice” but to withdraw some services following proposed funding cuts from Welsh Government.

Councillor John Thomas has drafted a letter to Welsh Government following the news the Vale council could face a 0.7 per cent cut to its settlement for 2019/20 – which would mean a cash reduction of £1.037 million.

But the council says it could lose as much as 4.2 per cent from its budget in real terms next year when taking other cost pressures such as inflation and unfunded changes to the pension scheme for teachers.

It follows savings of £50million since 2010/11 made by the council, which now has a net revenue budget of £222million in the current financial year.

Although the council is in line for some extra cash following an announcement by the Welsh Government’s finance secretary Mark Drakeford earlier this week that an extra £141.5 million will be handed out to local authorities, over the next three years, it is unclear how much of this will be given to Vale council.

But Mr Drakeford said it would mean no council would see a funding cut of more than 0.5 per cent – so the Vale is in line to benefit from at least some extra cash.

The full details of the new investment and how much each local authority will be given will be revealed in the Welsh Government’s final budget, on Wednesday December 19.

Cllr Thomas’ letter warns of “significant financial pressures” facing his authority and has asked for more financial help from Welsh Government.

He said: “This council has made significant changes to the way in which it operates in order to continue to deliver the services that our residents deserve and value.

“However, the significant financial pressures that this authority is now facing in the coming financial year will leave this council with little choice other than to withdraw some services as the council struggles to balance its budget going forward.

“Many non-statutory services are highly valued and are key contributors to build strong communities and are vital as preventative services. It is these very services that are now under threat as a direct consequence of year on year under funding.”

As the proposed cut to the Vale’s budget is below the 1 per cent threshold, the authority will not receive any further support during the settlement process, Councillor Thomas says.

Councillor Thomas says the reduction of £1.037million “ignores” the impact of inflation on council budgets. He said the impact of pay inflation on the council next year will be £3.551million..

The Vale council is also facing unfunded cost pressures in 2019/20 of £1.8million due to changes in the pension scheme for teachers.

Providing for growing numbers of pupils with additional learning needs, and also complying with new Welsh Government legislation, would also cost the council an extra £1million which is also unfunded, Councillor Thomas says.

Vale councillor Bob Penrose also added that school cutbacks “are inevitable”.

Cllr Penrose said: “In July UK Government announced a 3.5 per cent rise in teachers’ pay which would cover England and Wales.

“This was followed by the announcement of a 5 per cent increase in employers’ contribution to teachers’ pensions.

“What was lacking was an explanation of how this would be paid for.”

The council has set out its initial budget for 2019/20, which says the authority would need to find an additional £10,420,000 in savings next year.

That would be on top of £3,744,000 cuts which have already been planned – which include a one per cent funding reduction for schools across the Vale.

A council tax rise of 2.5 per cent for each of the next three years had been assumed in a provisional financial plan published by the council in September. The final level of council tax is not expected to be set until early in 2019.

But the council says raising council tax would only cover a small amount of the money it needs to balance the books.