WREXHAM'S Assembly Member has described the council's Local Government Settlement 'as not ideal'.

The council is facing the prospect of having to make another £9 million in savings after the Welsh Government announced its provisional settlement on Tuesday.

The proposal left leader Cllr Mark Pritchard "stunned", but Wrexham's representative on the Welsh Government, AM Lesley Griffiths, says that while the proposed settlement is "not ideal", it "enables fundamental public services to be protected".

Authorities in Wales will receive £4.2 billion from the Welsh Government in the next financial year to spend on delivering key services.

This includes £2.5m of floor funding, fully funded by the Welsh Government, to ensure no authority has to manage with a reduction of more than one per cent in 2019-20.

Provisional settlements for every local authority in Wales were announced on Tuesday, with Wrexham Council’s budget set to reduce by 0.6 per cent.

Ms Griffiths said: “For nine long years, the Tory Party in Westminster has pursued its failed austerity agenda which has undoubtedly created substantial challenges for the Welsh Government and for local authorities. Continued cuts have resulted in the Welsh Budget being five per cent lower in real terms today than in 2010, meaning there is £800m less to spend on public services.

“In spite of ongoing austerity and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the Welsh Government is continuing to use every resource available to mitigate against the cuts and protect the people of Wales.

"I welcome the fact the Welsh Government has announced that in the event of additional funding being made available to Wales after the UK Government publishes its Budget at the end of October, local government will be a key priority.

“Wrexham Council’s provisional settlement is not ideal but it enables councillors to plan for the future and ensure the fundamental public services local residents rely on are protected.”

After the announcement of the final Budget last year, councils were facing the prospect of a one per cent reduction in core funding for 2019-20, equivalent to a £43m reduction in cash terms.

Further allocations have been made to the local government settlement via the revenue support grant resulting in the £43m cut being reduced to less than £13m, which equates to a reduction of 0.3 per cent.

Funding has also been restored to a number of grants local government will benefit from directly, such as £30m for social care and £15m for education.

A series of capital investments have also been announced including £60m set aside for a local authority road refurbishment scheme and £78m for the local transport fund.

Although the allocations are provisional meaning the final settlement may be revised, the figures provide local authorities with a robust base to plan for the upcoming financial years.

Local authorities’ allocations are decided using a formula that takes into account factors including population changes.

The funding formula for calculating the settlements is agreed by Welsh Local Government Association representatives – not solely by the Welsh Government.

A joint Welsh Government and local authority working group is responsible for ensuring the formula is reviewed regularly.

The overall decrease in the Local Government Settlement for 2019/20 is -0.3 per cent with Wrexham receiving a decrease of -0.6 per cent.

On Tuesday Wrexham Council's leader Cllr Mark Pritchard said: “I am stunned that the Welsh Government has reduced the resources available for essential Local Government services. In Wrexham, this settlement will require the council to make around £9m of cuts. Wrexham has the 18th lowest funding per head of population.

“The council will continue to work hard to reduce the impact of these cuts from Welsh Government on the people of Wrexham County Borough. I will be responding to the provisional settlement during the formal consultation period which ends on November 20.”