Martedì, 25 Ottobre, 2016

Welsh local government receives first funding increase since 2013

Rufina Vignone | 19 Ottobre, 2016, 23:22

As the funding formula for calculating the settlements is agreed by Welsh Local Government Association representatives - not the Welsh Government - reasonable councillors will accept the figures are challenging but fair. Last year Powys saw its budget cut by 4% and neighbouring rural authorities Ceredigion and Monmouthshire also faced big cuts.

The cash increase is due to the introduction of a -0.5% funding floor, which means that many councils will receive a funding increase and no council will have to manage on less than 99.5% of the cash provided to them past year.

Wrexham, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen and Merthyr have also finished at the bottom of the funding pile.

"Tenants will also see additional costs passed onto them, as landlords look for ways to increase the profitability of their properties in the face of spiralling expenses".

Local government will see an increase in its funding for 2017-18 of £3.8 million compared to 2016-17.

"The situation is far from ideal but continued cuts from the Conservative UK Government, coupled with the Brexit strategy and impact remaining unclear, unfortunately mean hard decisions for both the Welsh Government and local authorities to undertake". It is the first increase in the settlement for local government since 2013/14. When added to the other sources of income available to them, many councils will be able to increase their spending next year. Now it is important that the Welsh Government focuses on the task of allocating those funds to training in industries where skilled workers are most needed and where the impact will be most beneficial for the wider economy.

Without a majority, the Welsh Government has struck a deal with Plaid Cymru to get the budget through.

"The Welsh Government's relationship with rural Wales - and particularly that with Powys - has never been lower but with a voice from Mid Wales at the cabinet table communities will have expected better".

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has accused Plaid Cymru of "propping up" Labour with a deal on the Welsh budget.

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