Council approves 2024/25 budget for Neath Port Talbot prioritising education, social services and the environment

A FULL MEETING of Neath Port Talbot Council on Thursday, March 7th, 2024, has approved proposals for the county borough’s 2024/25 budget.

A council spokesperson said: “This has been the most difficult budget for this council since devolution but after an extensive review of all budgets across the council it has been delivered without the significant jobs and service cuts which are being seen in many other parts of Wales.”

The 2024/25 budget invests:

£139.6m into Education and Schools (an increase of 4.4%), to provide education services to around 22,000 children and young people, to increase planned places for children with additional needs, to subsidise the costs of operating the indoor Neath Port Talbot leisure facilities operated by Celtic Leisure Ltd and helping alleviate considerable pressures in Home to School Transport

£113.699m into Social Services, Housing and Community Safety (an increase of 7.7%), This  will increase placements for those with complex needs, maintain a stable social care workforce; build capacity in housing to deliver on the ambitious programme approved by Cabinet to prevent more people from becoming homeless and reducing the time people spend in temporary and emergency accommodation.

£46.515m for the Environment and Regeneration Directorate, which will enable continuation of the Catch Up, Clean Up, Green Up programme which started in 2023/24, allow  delivery of the waste management strategy (which does not assume a move to three weekly residual waste collection in 2024/25), and enable work on decarbonisation to reduce energy consumption, increase energy efficiency and move to renewable energy sources.

This budget also protects capacity across the regulatory, regeneration and transport divisions to maintain momentum in delivering on infrastructure and promising economic development programmes including the multi-million pound, job creating GCRE rail testing centre, Wildfox leisure resort and Celtic Freeport projects.