Budget rethink? Labour council leaders set to meet Carwyn Jones next week
Labour council leaders will meet First Minister Carwyn Jones next week to discuss a rethink of the Welsh Government’s draft budget.
Last week’s local government finance settlement revealed that all six of the North Wales authorities will receive a year on year reduction in their funding.
In comparison, seven of the 12 South Wales authorities will receive an increase-in or continuation-of the level of funding from last year.
The proposed settlement figure has prompted widespread anger in Flintshire as the local authority is once again one of the lowest funded in Wales.
The draft budget as resulted in a 0.9% cut in funding for Flintshire County Council, compared with a National Average of 0.5%
Alyn and Deeside AM Jack Sargeant sent a letter on behalf of the Labour AM’s and MP’s in Flintshire to the Welsh Government stating ‘disappointment’ at the proposed settlement.
Delyn AM and Minister for the Environment Hannah Blythyn later removed her name from the letter after being “reminded of her commitment to collective responsibility.”
Next week’s meeting is exclusively for labour council leaders, a fact which has angered Welsh Tory’s.
They say the core details of the funding allocations show that seven of Wales’ 22 local authorities will receive an increase-in or continuation-of the level of funding from last year. Out of those seven, six of the authorities are Labour run councils.
Responding to news of next week’s meeting, the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives – Paul Davies – said:
“The audacity of this meeting is disgraceful. We have a Welsh Government that’s not even trying to hide its favouritism of certain local authorities in Wales.
“Labour Council Leaders are getting a private session with the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, despite getting the sunnier side of the funding deal. The other authorities must be appalled.
“All councils should have the opportunity to present their case, not just Labour Councils, because I’m sure there are plenty of Council Leaders who would be delighted to get such a chance.
“The Welsh Government needs to either cancel this meeting, or extend the invitation to the rest of Wales’ authorities. People are getting tired of Welsh Labour cronyism”.
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