Agenda item



The Council considered a report which brought together the latest proposals for the five-year capital programme 2024/25 to 2028/29, taking account of the consultation exercise undertaken and the revenue implications arising from the programme.


The Cabinet Member for Resources in presenting the report stated that the proposed gross expenditure on the capital programme for 2024/25 was £86.930m with the projected funding being £50.374m from the County Council’s own resources through the application of borrowing, reserves, direct revenue financing, capital receipts and general capital grant, with the balance of £36.556m coming from external sources.


The new capital programme would be fully funded over the five years, however, it was proposed to under commit some of the available funding to give flexibility across the programme to cover any unexpected additional costs. The Authority’s capital strategy, required by the prudential code for capital finance in Local Authorities, had been updated and sets out the long-term context in which capital expenditure and investment decisions are made. It gave due consideration to both risk and reward and impact on the achievement of priority outcomes. The capital strategy covered expenditure on both Council Fund and HRA capital and was included as Appendix C to the report.


It was highlighted that the new programme would see £193m of investment over the next five years, £61m of which was for continued commitment for improving  school buildings, £12m toward Disability Facilities Grant to help transform the quality of life for many people in their own homes, £34m for Regeneration projects to boost economic activity, £16m to complete the City Deal backed Pentre Awel project which included a new leisure centre for Llanelli, £43m to improve local economic highways infrastructure and Recycling Infrastructure, £21m for critical digital IT hardware and infrastructure.    


It was acknowledged that despite the difficulties of the current economic environment, the proposed capital programme committed a significant investment over the next five years. It aimed to optimise the funding opportunities and maximise the funding from potential external sources. A combination of existing and new schemes in line with the Council’s corporate vision would develop the local economy, create jobs, and enhance the quality of life for Carmarthenshire citizens and visitors, while safeguarding our resources for future generations.  


Furthermore, it was reported that £15.5m was successfully obtained in Levelling Up funding for Llanelli Town Centre which would be match funded with an investment of £2.5m from resources and that work would commence with the UK Government to agree a viable project.


Other areas were highlighted:-


-   More than £20m of funding was included in the programme for the replacement of aging and more polluting vehicles.


-   £14m is towards new vehicles for the roll-out of kerb-side sorting and recycling. 


-   To improve recycling infrastructure, it was proposed to make available a £10m loan facility to CWM environmental to develop and improve recycling provision at Nantycaws.  


-   £4.2m over the next five years will be needed for developing and improving digital infrastructure and was, therefore, proposed for inclusion in the programme. 


-   Support for Zone 1 of the Pentre Awel development in Llanelli continued.  This unique project aimed to create hundreds of jobs and transform the landscape and economy of south Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, and the wider West Wales region. 


-   £1.4m was included for the redevelopment of Oriel Myrddin.  This would bring the total package of investment on this important project to £3.5m. 


-   The report included a rolling programme of investment amounting to go over £45m. in a variety of services. However, the Cabinet Member for Resources stated that it was disappointing to note that the Welsh Government made no provision for Highway Maintenance grant funding in the Local Government settlement, therefore an allocation £2m had been made from Council resources in order to improve the road conditions.


Councils’ attention was drawn to one change. As part of the provision settlement from the Welsh Government received in December, capital funding was originally going to be reduced by £19,000 compared to 2023-24 Funding.  However, following the final settlement received on 28th February 2024, an updated Appendix A had been published, which showed that supported Capital funding from the Welsh Government was going to be maintained at £11,989,000 for next year. This meant that there would be an additional £19,000 unallocated budget received annually for the next five years.    


A number of statements were made in response to the proposals of the capital programme and expressed their appreciation in terms of the ongoing projects and provided their concerns in relation to the future challenges faced by the current financial climate and concerns regarding future budgets.



8.2.1     The five-year Capital Programme and funding as detailed in Appendix A, with 2024/25 being a hard budget and 2025/26 to 2028/29 soft/indicative budgets be approved.


8.2.2     That the programme be reviewed, as is usual, if anticipated external or county council funding does not materialise.


8.2.3     That the Capital Strategy in Appendix C be approved.


8.2.4     That Cabinet/County Council delegates to the Director of Corporate Services, in consultation with the Chief Executive, Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources, to make any amendments necessary as a consequence of the WG final settlement due on 27th February 2024.


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