LEAD members at Wrexham Council said they had "no choice" but to propose non-inflation cuts to education ahead of next week's Executive Board meeting. 

The board is set to meet next week to discuss a report into the Revenue Budget for 2024/25. 

With a budget gap of £22.6m for next year, the local authority has been "forced" into making savings on schools across Wrexham. 

A total of £10.6m in savings is set to be presented to the board next week, with a £5.4m saving coming from schools, £3.9m coming from a review into the authorities' finances and £1.5m which was brought forward in December.

A further gap of £10.5m will remain if the proposed cuts are approved at next week's meeting.

While school budgets will be inflated by £5.7m, a 5% saving is being applied to school budgets, after inflation. 

The report states that saving targets have not been applied to school budgets in recent years in Wrexham and given the current level of funding pressure, it is not possible to protect school budgets to the extent they have been in recent years.

The savings from education could lead to several job losses and redundancies across the city, much to the disappointment of council leaders. 

Councillor Phil Wynn, lead member for education said it was 'unprecedented times' for the authority. 

He added: "We've been forced into this due to the settlement from the Welsh Government. 

"We've never had to do it to schools previously, but it is nigh impossible to meet the budget without this £5.4m saving. 

"The pressures are everywhere really, we are waiting on guidance from Welsh Government regarding grants for free school meals, hoping that can soften the blow on schools in Wrexham."

Ian Bancroft, chief executive of Wrexham Council, added: "We've protected schools previously, but now we've got no choice. 

"This isn't a full cut, just not inflation. Unfortunately, it's a crisis of funding and we're having to look at all options. 


"It's really difficult, we know it's not easy but this is the hardest budget we've ever had to deal with."

Councillor Mark Pritchard, leader of the council, called for further support to authorities across Wales and revealed that education could be revisited when reviewing the budget next year. 

He said: "When you're taking money out of education, it really does sober you up. We're talking about people losing their jobs and redundancies. 

"We were talking about this three years ago, now it's happening, it's here. We want to be funded appropriately so we can deliver services to residents."

The proposals will go before Wrexham Council's Executive Board on Tuesday, January 23.