There are just two weeks left for residents to have their say on Carmarthenshire County Council’s budget consultation - as the local authority tries to bridge a massive shortfall of over £20 million in 2023/24.

An online survey is giving residents, businesses and organisations an opportunity to express their views on council tax increases and commercial charges such as school meals, leisure services, car parking and public protection.

These will be considered alongside around 100 detailed managerial proposals, such as procurement arrangements, staffing structures and internal and back-office functions.

Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr Alun Lenny said: “Despite the 8.5% increase settlement by the Welsh Government, this will be the worst financial budget for Carmarthenshire County Council, and other local authorities in Wales, in its history.

“These financial pressures are unprecedented, and we are being forced into a course of action due to circumstances that are out of our hands.

“Energy costs have trebled, due in part to the war in Ukraine, which means that it will cost us, the Council, an extra £10million to run our buildings - which include schools, residential homes and leisure centres.  

“There’s also inflation and its impact on wages. Last year, we budgeted 4% for pay increases but no one could have predicted a 10% inflation level and the subsequently much higher pay demands.

"We have agreed with the unions, as have all local authorities, to a pay rise offer of £1,925 for all our workers. This equates to a 10% pay rise for the lowest paid staff, and an average of 7% across the council workforce, which is thoroughly deserved.

“We have been through our finances with a fine-tooth comb, and we are determined to save our frontline services. But we will have to make very difficult decisions and look to make savings across all the services that we, as a Council, provide.

“As local councils, we have suffered more than a decade of cuts to our funding, year after year. In real terms, in Carmarthenshire, we are over £100million worse off than we were a decade ago.

“It is important that the public engages with us on the set of proposals that we have published today.

"These may be unpopular proposals; however, we believe that they are the least damaging measures of saving money, increasing income, and cutting services. I would encourage everyone to complete the online survey.”

Councillors will consider the views expressed in this consultation alongside managerial proposals to the value of around £13million when the budget is finally approved by Full Council in March 2023.

People can share their views online at or by visiting a council customer service Hwb in Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford town centres

The budget consultation closes at 5pm on 29 January 2023.