Council leaders warn that cuts leave local services at 'breaking point'

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images

Funding for Welsh councils is set to fall again next year leaving local authorities having to make further cuts.

Local Government Secretary Alun Davies AM published the local government finance statement today, which sets out how much money each council will get for the next financial year. The Welsh Government says local authorities will receive £4.213bn (£4,213,840,000) in core funding for 2019/20, down 0.3% from £4.226bn (£4,226,136,000). Those figures do not take into account inflation and, when asked, government officials were not able to give a figure for the reduction in real terms.

In last week's draft budget, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said local government and public services would lose around £97m in real terms. Local Government Secretary Alun Davies said the government recognised the difficulties councils are facing.

Local Government Secretary Alun Davies says its up to local authorities how they set their council tax. Credit: ITV Wales

Rural local authorities like Monmouthshire, Anglesey, Conwy, Flintshire and Powys, will bear the brunt of cuts. Council tax across Wales rose by 4% last year, with Pembrokeshire residents seeing a rise of 12%.

This table shows the amount each council will receive without taking into inflation into account. Credit: Welsh Government

The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) described the settlement as a 'deeply disappointing outcome.' It has written to Education Secretary Kirsty Williams AM warning that cuts could lead to a gap of £57m in education funding alone, which it says equates to losing 1,300 teachers or 2,400 teaching assistants.

Council leaders have also voiced concerns over the future of local services if funding cuts continue.

Further details of the Welsh Government budget will be published on October 23rd.