Dan Peters 22 September 2017

Welsh councils call for end to cuts

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Welsh council leaders have called for an end to the ‘relentless cuts to public services’ after a new report highlighted the scale of shrinking budgets.

The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) said the report by Wales Public Services 2025 ‘laid bare the catastrophic impact’ of eight years of austerity.

Functions including transport, protection, culture, libraries and environmental services have carried the weight of budget reductions, being hollowed out by up to 40%.

WLGA leader, Cllr Debbie Wilcox, said: ‘The belief that austerity works has collapsed to the point where hardly anyone still believes it. In effect, for some services, we have witnessed a prolonged seven-year closing down sale.’

In separate comments, Cllr Wilcox, said the NHS could learn from the savings local government had made.

She said: ‘We have made huge cuts. We have managed tremendously well. We can teach the NHS the ways in which to do that. We need to collaborate more and show them better ways of managing limited resources.’

Resources spokesman for the WLGA, Cllr Anthony Hunt, added: ‘As a local government community, we are asking for parity of treatment for local services and the NHS.

‘We are calling on all assembly members in advance of the Welsh Government draft budget in October to reflect on the findings of this report, recognise the stark decisions councils have made and act to start to redress the damage done to local public services.’

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