Recession could cost Wrexham Council millions

Reporter:

Garth ApThomas

WREXHAM Council could lose tens of millions of pounds from its budget over the next three to five years as a result of the global economic recession.

Local authority leader Aled Roberts has warned that across the country public sector finances are going to get ‘pretty scary’ as national politicians pledge cutbacks and emergency budgets are on the way.

But Cllr Roberts has stressed Wrexham is already busy planning ahead and considering possible new ways in which it will deliver services for the future.

He said one of the biggest problems council chiefs face is that the exact extent and nature of the financial cutbacks from central government isn’t known.

All that can be done at the moment is draw up plans based on the best information available.

He said: “Wrexham has a strong reputation for preparing early. We plan in advance and this is working forward for the storm to come.”

Chief executive Isobel Garner said Wrexham Council didn’t want to be accused of scaremongering. It had to deal with the harsh reality of the financial situation facing local government and plan accordingly. Whatever the outcome of the next General Election, the outlook for the next few years was bleak,” she said.

Miss Garner emphasised Wrexham had not taken an isolated stance.

It had gone out of its way to discuss the cash position both internally and externally with a number of organisations.

She said many innovative suggestions had come forward over how the authority will be able to adapt to the new financial climate.

“These cover topics such as the council’s assets, delivery of services, as well as staffing and operating modules.

Wrexham Council is now proposing to set up a specialist board to take a close look at the ideas that have been proposed and see how they would operate in practice under the transformation programme.

The matter is set to be discussed at a meeting of the executive board on Tuesday.

See full story in the Leader

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