Responding to Welsh Government’s provisional settlement today, WLGA Deputy Leader, Councillor Aaron Shotton (Flintshire) said:
“Today’s Provisional Settlement is grossly inadequate for the funding needs of local councils. The councils in North Wales will be particularly badly hit under this planned budget with three councils - Conwy, Flintshire and Ynys Mon - at the foot of the annual funding ‘league table’. All councils are again expected to find big cuts in their budgets to balance their books next year.
“At some point soon, one or more councils might have to admit that they are no longer able to legally balance their budget, without compromising the quality and safety of local services, under such intense financial pressure.
“Council leaders have been warning about the deepening impacts of austerity for several years.
“The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) has made a well-argued and evidenced case for improved funding to protect schools, social care for the elderly, environmental, transport, library and other services. Welsh Government has failed to match its rhetoric of support with its budget. We welcome the announced increase in funding for the NHS in North Wales.
“Welsh Government needs to re-balance its budget to invest in the local community services that Councils provide alongside the NHS. The taxpayer could be faced with larger than ever Council Tax rises next year because Welsh Government is no longer funding councils to the level of proven need.
“We would call on Assembly Members from across the region, from all parties, to urge Welsh Government to undertake an immediate review of the support given to Council services within this budget.”