Latest Public Sector News


Powys County Council backs amended budget cuts and tax hike but ‘significant risk remains’

Powys county councillors have backed a 9.5% council tax hike and approved the authority’s budget after the controversial first round of £12m of cuts were rejected last month.

Opposition groups criticised the council’s cabinet last week after a proposed budget ,including a council tax hike rise of nearly 10% and £12m of cuts, were thrown out, forcing the authority into crisis talks.

The Conservative-Independent administration was asked to go back to the drawing board, and a series of changes to the plans were drawn up following cross-party talks, which will see cuts reduced but less money placed into reserves.

The new proposals have scrapped a review threatening 10 of the county’s libraries and a plan to charge blue badge holders for parking, as well as lowering an increase in the price of school meals from 20p to 15p.

Powys council holds the “unenviable position” of holding the lowest funding settlement from the Welsh Government in nine out of the last 10 years.

Councillors held a seven-hour meeting in late February where the planned savings were criticised heavily before a narrow vote saw the budget proposals rejected.

Following the decision, the council’s Labour Group leader Matthew Dorrance claimed the cabinet was “out of touch with its citizens and our communities.”

The Lib Dem-Green group leader James Gibson also slammed the administration, stating: “We have given the leadership 18 months and they have failed to turn Powys around.

“There are key departments where hard and politically unpopular decisions have been kicked into the long grass.”

Senior officers at the council said the amended budget was “adequately robust, but significant risk remains.”

Following today’s decision, Plaid Cymru leader Elwyn Vaughan criticised the 9.5% council tax rise which will “inevitably put pressures on families who are working hard and on low incomes.”

"This will make Powys amongst the most expensive councils in Wales – and bearing in mind the low incomes in Powys this isn’t something to be proud of.”


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >