The Provisional Local Government Settlement announced today (Wednesday, December 9) indicated a reduction of less than one per cent for Rhondda Cynon Taf (0.9%).
This reduction is significantly lower than local government in Wales anticipated following the cut to Wales’ funding by the UK Government of 3.6% in the Comprehensive Spending Review last month.
Commenting on the publication of the provisional Local Government Settlement, County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said: “Welsh Government has pro-actively sought to protect Welsh Council funding from the impact of public sector spending cuts included in the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).
“When you consider Wales has received a 3.6% cut in its funding from the UK Government in the CSR, we all anticipated we would need to deal with a similar level of funding cuts ourselves.
“This protection of Local Government is in stark contrast to the approach taken by the UK Government, where Council funding has been slashed by 50% in England, and their frontline services have suffered the consequences of their approach.
“While difficult decisions cannot be avoided in this climate of austerity created by the UK Government, the political priority given to Council services by the Welsh Government when deciding how it deals with the cuts Wales has received from Whitehall means Welsh local authorities have greater flexibility than originally anticipated following the CSR in November.
“Thanks to the Welsh Government, we will not need to consider the number of difficult decisions we have been anticipating; that said we do still face a challenging financial situation and some tough choices will still need to be considered for the Council to deliver a balanced legal budget next year and moving forward in the context of increased costs and pressures.
“Difficult decisions remain a reality for local government and all of Wales’ public sector. However, the protection which has been afforded to local government will lessen the impact of UK Government cuts in local communities here in RCT and across Wales.
“It is clear when considering the financial resources available to Local Councils, the Minister has recognised the important role local authorities play in the delivery of Health and Social Care services and supporting our NHS.
“The Minister has also responded to the call from the WLGA to include the huge list of specific grants which support the delivery of Council services within the Local Government Settlement.
“This is a far more transparent approach to local government funding and will assist Welsh Councils greatly in the very tight budget setting process we face this year.
“The Council’s Cabinet will consider the detail of the provisional settlement and its impact on our wider Medium Term Financial Planning in the coming weeks.”
Posted on Wednesday 9th December 2015