The Welsh Government’s local authority settlement represents a slowing down of the cuts faced by local councils and is 'as good as it gets in the current climate', according to the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA).
The draft settlement outlines plans for a 1.4% reduction in the local government budget. This is significantly better than the cuts of up to 4% councils have experienced in recent years, and it is also lower than was initially feared.
The settlement, argues WLGA, offers a positive Welsh Government response to calls from the sector for more of Wales’ financial resources to be invested in preventative local services such as education and social care.
Commenting on the draft settlement, Cllr Bob Wellington CBE (Torfaen), WLGA leader said: ‘Times remain tough, but this settlement at least shows that Welsh Government Ministers are listening to local government leaders and working with us to protect local services from the worst impacts of austerity.’
‘Today's settlement’, he continued, ‘offers a welcome slow-down in the daunting level of budget cuts local government has experienced over recent years. This relative protection is appreciated by councils, and we recognise that it has not been easy for the Welsh Government to achieve when their own funding is being stretched by continued austerity from the UK Government.’