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Distribution Sub Group

The role of the Distribution Sub-Group (DSG) is to advise the Partnership Council for Wales (PCfW) on the Local Government Settlement formula to calculate standard spending assessments (SSAs) for local authorities in Wales.

A standard spending assessment (SSA) is the amount of revenue expenditure (excluding funding provided via specific grants) which the Minister for Local Government and Government Business considers appropriate and reflective of the differing characteristics within each local authority, to ensure that each local authority can provide a standard level of service. The formula to calculate SSAs makes use of information which reflects the differing characteristics of Welsh local authorities, ranging from the rural, sparsely populated authorities of North, Mid and West Wales to the urban authorities of South East Wales.

Consequently, the formula takes account of such factors as:

  • population
  • numbers of children and older adults
  • road lengths
  • deprivation
  • rurality and sparsity

A 5 year work programme for the DSG has been agreed for the period 2010 - 2015, with the aim to review each of the service areas within the formula within this period. This work programme forms the basis of the annual DSG remit. This annual remit comprises the principles the DSG will adhere to, the key objectives and scope for the stated year and a list of service areas within the formula (taken from the 5 year work programme) which should be investigated and reflects the views of DSG members. The annual remit is published on these pages in January or February each year.

The DSG report is submitted to the Partnership Council for Wales around September of each year. Once agreed by the Partnership Council for Wales it is put to the Assembly Minister for Local Government and Government Business for approval. Once approved, the report is published on the Local Government Finance pages of the Welsh Government Website.

The formula used to calculate SSAs is set out in the annual Local Government Finance Report (Wales) which is laid before and debated by the Assembly at a Plenary session. Background information on the formulae, data and assumptions used to calculate the SSAs is published in the annual publication 'Welsh Local Government Settlement' on the Local Government Finance web pages following the announcement of the Police Settlement for Wales.