THE Vale of Glamorgan Council continues to face a “very challenging” financial situation according to its leader as its projected budget gap grows.

The leader of the council, Cllr Lis Burnett, addressed cabinet members at a meeting on Thursday, November 16, about the council’s revised projected budget gap of £10.5 million for 2024/25.

It comes as the council revealed one of the “most difficult financial situations” they’ve been in in their latest finance forecast, with both UK and Welsh Governments responding to the lack of funding.

Inflation and “exceptional increases in demand” for council services are some of the contributors to the continued financial pressure, say the council.

Cllr Burnett said: “We have a legal requirement to deliver a balanced budget and so [although] some of the decisions that we have to make in delivering such balanced budget are not the reason why most of us came into politics, it is what we have to do.

“We can’t operate at a deficit and we must lay out how we intend to deliver services for the year from next April.”

An initial forecast indicated that Vale of Glamorgan Council’s costs will rise by £38.525 million for the next financial year.

That figure has since reduced to £20.767 million.

Barry And District News: The leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cllr Lis Burnett, said she felt sick when the possibility of a £28 million budget gap became apparentThe leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cllr Lis Burnett, said she felt sick when the possibility of a £28 million budget gap became apparent (Image: Vale of Glamorgan Council/ Google Maps)

Some of the biggest pressures on the council’s services include an increase in children looked after by the local authority, a growth in the number of adults needing social care and an increase in the complexity of the provision required.

Following a better than expected settlement from the Welsh Government last year, Vale of Glamorgan Council faced a budget gap of £9 million.

However, the leader said she was not as confident that the local authority would receive as good a settlement this time around.

She said: “The prospects this year are very low with the current performance of the economy.”

To support the budget in 2023/24, the council used £496,000 of council fund reserves.

There is a planned use of £2.645 million of earmarked reserves as part of the 2024/25 budget.

Cllr Burnett said: “It remains very challenging. We have seen information that inflation has gone down, but that doesn’t mean that prices are cut, it means that they increase at a slower rate.

“Through these challenges, the council remains committed to delivering the objectives in the corporate plan.

“We will find ways to do that and also as a priority protect services that support the more vulnerable members of our community.”