A PROPOSAL to cut school budgets by two per cent has been scrapped by Monmouthshire County Council’s cabinet in its final budget proposals for 2021, a move which could leave  a deficit of £490,000.

During the public consultation for the 2020/21 budget proposals, teachers and parents raised concerns over the impact of a two per cent reduction in school budgets.

The cabinet member for resources Cllr Phil Murphy has consistently said that there’s “no appetite” for such cuts, but the provisional Welsh Government settlement “had left the council with no choice.”

But in a cabinet meeting to agree the final budget proposals Cllr Murphy announced that the two per cent cut to school budgets would be scrapped.

He also said the council is not expecting any further increase on the three per cent outlined in the provisional Welsh Government settlement.

“We lobbied the Welsh Government for a funding floor, but that now seems unlikely,” he said.

The final Welsh Government settlement will be announced next Tuesday, February 25.

A council report on the budget proposals says: “The Council will need to respond quickly to the final settlement announcement and ahead of Council on March 5 in order to ensure it has a robust and balanced set of budget proposals presented for approval.”

Cllr Murphy also announced that the budget for disabled facilities grants would be increased to £900,000 a year and would be reviewed annually.

This followed concerns from the adult select committee that there could be another backlog if the budget floor was not increased from £600,000 to £900,000.

These changes would be partly offset by the proposed 4.95 per cent increase in council tax.

However, this still leaves a £490,000 deficit for the council to make up.

If approved by council on March 5, the budget will be implemented from April 1.