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Council funding formula must be reformed

Welsh Conservatives have today pledged to reform the local authority funding formula in Wales and ensure rural councils are no longer penalised.

 

Labour’s recent budgetary spending decisions resulted in huge cuts for rural councils, including Powys (4.1%), Ceredigion (3.4%), Pembrokeshire (2.8%) and Monmouthshire (3.1%).

The Shadow Minister for Local Government has called for a rural stabilisation grant to be included in the Welsh government’s local authority settlement.

The current formula for distribution – used by Labour ministers – does not recognise the costs of delivering services in sparesly populated counties, resulting in unfair cuts.

An additional grant – added to the local authority settlement and targeted at frontline services for rural communities – would ensure an end to Labour’s disproportionate priorities.

In the recent draft Budget, the Labour government’s ‘central services and administration’ budget saw an incredible increase of 7.5 million pounds. Welsh Conservatives have called for this money to be used to fund a Rural Stabilisation Grant.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Local Government, Janet Finch-Saunders AM, said:

“Labour's local government settlement will disproportionately hit rural communities across Wales.

“Just look at the figures – the funding formula is clearly flawed and a Welsh Conservative government would prioritise its reform.

“It’s absolutely crucial that a rural stabilisation grant is introduced as soon as possible.

“This would ensure councils covering sparsely populated areas are not disproportionately hit.”