Mark Whitehead 04 October 2017

Austerity ‘devastating’ communities, Welsh local government leaders say

Austerity is having a 'devastating' effect on communities and services, Welsh local government leaders have warned.

Speaking in advance of the details of the Cardiff government's budget being announced, Debbie Wilcox, leader of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), said funds for economic development had been reduced by more than 60% since 2009.

Environmental health had been reduced by more than 40% and Cllr Wilcox warned that any further cuts could seriously compromise the health and well-being of the most vulnerable members of society.

She said: 'It is becoming harder and harder to find the words to describe how austerity is wearing down and eroding public services.

'Since becoming Leader of the WLGA, I have consistently stated that austerity is "an idea with a great future behind it".

'My consistent message is that our services are a force for good, they are the cement which lock communities together.' ?

WLGA finance and resources spokesperson Cllr Anthony Hunt said: 'We want to work together with the Welsh government and call on the UK Government to rethink its austerity approach – nothing less than the survival of local services is at stake.'

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