Council Leader Comments on Additional Funding for Welsh Councils

Commenting on the Welsh Labour Government’s announcement to allocate additional funding for Councils over the remainder of this financial year, 2019/20 and 2020/21, Councillor Andrew Morgan, the Leader of the Labour-controlled Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said:

I am pleased that the Welsh Labour Government has allocated resources to provide our hard-pressed Local Authorities with additional funding to relieve some of the strain caused by the continuation of Tory austerity, which is now set to enter a ninth consecutive year.

Across Wales, the almost £141m of total funding, which is split over the three financial years, includes:

· A one-off package of revenue and capital of up to £6m in 2018/19 to help to meet the repair and clean-up costs associated with Storm Callum;

· An extra £4m revenue to meet social care pressures in 2018/19. This brings the extra funding for social care pressures to £14m this autumn – the full consequential from the “emergency” social care funding announced for England in the UK Autumn Budget;

· £15m revenue to help local authorities meet the cost pressures associated with implementing the teachers’ pay award, with £7.5m in 2018/19 and a further £7.5m in 2019/20.

· A £100m increase over three years to the general capital fund (£50m in 18/19, £30m in 19/20 and £20m in 20/21).

· An additional £13m in the revenue support grant to provide local government with a cash flat settlement in 2019/20, along with £1.2m to raise the funding floor so that no local authority faces a reduction of more than 0.5%;

· Allocating the full £2.3m consequential from the UK Autumn Budget for children’s social services in 2019/20 – to help prevent children from being taken into care; and

Councillor Morgan added: “However, whilst myself and my fellow Council Leaders across Wales are welcoming of this additional funding, the sustained nature of Tory austerity over the best part of the last decade means that the package does not cover the full extent of the pressures on our services – particularly in terms of pay and pension costs, in addition to the increasing demand on social services and education.

We will continue to work constructively with the Welsh Government to ensure that our Councils are afforded the maximum protection from Tory austerity, so that we are able to continue to deliver our key frontline services and avoid transferring the worst effects of the cuts onto our communities.