£153M Underspend On Capital Projects Over 5 Years, Revealed by Plaid Cymru

14/01/2020

Labour-run Caerphilly Council has been told to stop promising over-ambitious programmes of capital schemes it always fails to deliver.

Plaid Cymru has discovered that since 2014-15 the authority has approved capital budgets totalling £473.92m. But the actual spending was just £320.40m – leaving a

33% budget underspent. It failed to spend the budget promised in every single year since 2014-15.

 

Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, said: “I’m all for the council being ambitious in its capital programme whether it is education, social services, highways, housing or other  projects.

“But the Labour Cabinet needs to be realistic in what it is telling the public it will deliver. It has fallen well short of what was planned and that is hugely embarrassing.  What is the point of promising schemes on a timescale when they are often seriously delayed or run the danger of just not being done.  Is it is question of Labour trying to pull the wool over the public’s eyes.

“The council is guilty of collecting taxpayers money well before it is needed - hitting taxpayers hard just to put it in the bank. It is clear that there needs to be a review into the way that capital schemes are planned and delivered to ensure that this problem does not continue.”

Delyth Jewell AM, who is standing in Caerphilly at the 2021 Senedd Elections, said:

“I can think of no greater metaphor for Labour's failed ambition in Caerphilly than the underspend which has been uncovered by Plaid Cymru. 

“It seems in this instance, you really can put a figure on broken promises.  The people of Caerphilly deserve a council who live up to their promises.”

Official figures show that major services such as education, social services and highways underspent by millions of pounds. 

 

                                    Budget                                  Spend

2018-19:                   £116.24m                             £78.62m

2017-18                    £109-09m                           £70.33m

2016-17                     £94.08m                              £67.31m

2015-16                    £83.73m                              £60.99m

2014-15                    £70.78m                              £43.15m

TOTALS                   £473.92m                            £320.40m