NOTE: This content is old - Published: Monday, Oct 22nd, 2018.
Leading councillors from two neighbouring authorities have become embroiled in an online spat over who is responsible for the level of cuts they are facing.
Wrexham Council leader Mark Pritchard (pictured left) blasted the Welsh Government last week, accusing the Senedd of handing local authorities a ‘wicked and disastrous’ provisional budget settlement.
The independent councillor, who runs the local authority in coalition with the Tories, said cuts totalling about £9 million would need to be made in Wrexham next year as a result.
On Sunday Cllr Pritchard again placed the blame firmly with Labour politicians in Cardiff Bay in a post on Twitter, describing North Wales as ‘the poor relation’.
However, he was criticised by the Labour deputy leader of Flintshire Council, Bernie Attridge, (pictured right) who said his party was not solely responsible.
He said: “Mark, we are all in this together. Have a word with your Tory mates running your council to get the PM (Prime Minister) to end austerity please.”
In response, Cllr Pritchard said: “Evening Bernie, just a reminder that Labour and the Conservatives ran the council before us.
“You also had Tory mates – maybe you could have a word with your Lib Dem mate Kirsty (Williams) and request she put more money into education in the North. We are all in it together after all.”
Cllr Attridge replied by stating that he had actively been lobbying the Welsh Government for more money.
He added: “All I wanted was you to have a word with your Tory friends to have a quiet word with the Chancellor to put a few bob in the case for LG (local government.”
He was supported by fellow Flintshire councillor Andy Dunbobbin (Lab), who said Westminster should fund the cost of a recent pay increase for teachers.
Last month Flintshire Council said schools in the county could be forced to make redundancies unless the pay rise is fully backed by government funding.
Lower-paid teachers would receive a 3.5 per cent uplift in their wages under plans announced by the UK government in July, while senior staff would get either 1.5 or two per cent.
However, the amount of money pledged to meet the funding gap faced by local authorities in Wales would only account for approximately half of the £2.7 million required in Flintshire.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter.