The Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has issued a stark warning that all services the Council currently provides are under review, as the authority moves to bridge an estimated budget gap of at least £56M as a result of UK government austerity measures.
This review will shortly begin to bring forward proposals for members of the Council’s Cabinet to consider.
County Borough Councillor, Anthony Christopher, Leader of the Council said:
“So severe are the cuts being imposed on public sector funding by the UK government we are faced with making some unprecedented and difficult decisions.
“I very much fear that just as Thatcher decimated our nationalised industries locally in the 1980s the same effect is going to be felt on our public services locally because of the ruthless austerity measures being imposed by the UK government.
“In my 25 year in local government neither I nor my colleagues have ever had to consider such a bleak financial outlook. We have all seen through the media how the austerity measures of the UK government are hitting the most vulnerable in our society and in the coming weeks we will see how their decisions around public spending will force this Council to review every area of service.
“Rhondda Cynon Taf currently provides many of its services above the level offered by other local authorities in Wales.
“With the need to make such drastic savings, we will need to review all services and agree proposals that are reasonable, sustainable and equitable across our area.
“Such difficult decisions will inevitably force us to reduce the number of people the Council employs and that is why the Chief Executive and I have written to all our workforce today explaining the harsh realities of the situation we face ahead.
“We will do all we can to avoid the need for compulsory redundancies, but with such a dramatic reduction in the level of service we provide being necessary, it is impossible to rule this out moving into the future.
“These are not decisions I or any of my fellow Councillors want to take. When making these tough decisions, we will be fair and equitable but there is no doubt the impact will be felt across every community in Rhondda Cynon Taf.”