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Powys struck by further government cuts

By Jonny Drury | Mid Wales | Politics | Published:

Cash-strapped Powys County Council is yet again set to have a one per cent reduction in its funding from the Welsh Government.

Earlier this week warnings were sounded to address the authority's finances, with the council still looking to save millions from its budget.

Now the council has been dealt a huge blow with one per cent set to be cut of its budget settlement.

Cabinet secretary for local councils, Alun Davies, announced this week the money from central government was slashed by 0.3 per cent to £4.21 billion.

A handful of councils in Wales are facing rises, but the majority are having their budget cuts.

Montgomeryshire AM Russell George has lashed out at the Labour-run Assembly, for giving increase to Labour-run South Wales councils.

He labelled it cronyism, and said the government was failing rural Mid Wales.

He said: "Every council in Mid and North Wales receives a cut in funding whereas Labour-run South Wales councils get an increase. This is cronyism of the highest order and iniquitous by anyone’s standards.

“For well over a decade, Powys County Council has received one of the worst local government funding settlements from the Welsh Government of all 22 local authorities in Wales.

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Worst

“Powys will now have to find additional savings and people will be asking why difficult decisions are having to be made to reduce or even withdraw their valued public services or increase council tax. Responsibility must lie squarely at the door of Welsh Labour Lib-Dem Government.

“The current system provides councils in urban south Wales with far more attractive financial settlements while the largest, most rural councils such as Powys are among those with the worst cash settlements.

“The Welsh Labour Lib-Dem Government are failing rural Mid Wales. The ongoing year on year funding cut to Powys County Council is causing real damage to local services in Powys.”

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Earlier this week a councillor warned the authority's finances are in danger of running out of control.

The council is currently facing a projected overspend at the end of the 2018/19 financial year of nearly £8 million if planned savings are not made, and one of nearly £6 million even if the savings are achieved.

County councillor Graham Breeze added: "Surprise-surprise Labour strongholds in the South have been awarded increases.

"The council is not receiving enough funding to cover essential service now - so be aware that these further cuts mean a deepening crisis."

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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