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Leadership candidate Gething promises local councils more money and more freedom

Vaughan Gething was joined by Cardiff Council leader Huw Thomas (left) and Torfaen Council leader Anthony Hunt (right) as well as Ann Jones AM for his announcement on the Senedd steps Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

Welsh Labour leadership candidate Vaughan Gething has said that as First Minister he would establish a "more respectful" relationship with local councils, with fewer instructions from the Welsh Government about how they should spend their money.

He also said that they should be first in line to receive any extra money that comes to Wales as a result of the Chancellor's Budget next week. Councils have been complaining that the NHS has been given priority over them. Mr Gething is Health Secretary in Carwyn Jones' Government.

Our Councils deliver a wide range of frontline services that are vitally important to our local communities, that’s why we need to reset the relationship. We want a more collegiate, respectful and collaborate relationship between Welsh Government and Local Authorities.

I will end the cash cuts for our local authorities. For too long, we have expected councils to do more with less. That’s why the next consequential Wales receives from the UK Government, I will ensure local government will be first in line and that money received will be unrestricted in its use.

– Welsh Labour Leadership candidate Vaughan Gething AM

Vaughan Gething's comments are an implicit criticism of one of his leadership rivals, Mark Drakeford, who's currently the Finance Secretary. He also had a dig at the Local Government Secretary, Alun Davies, who has nominated Eluned Morgan for leader. Mr Davies has likened councils to "Oliver Twist, always asking for more". Mr Gething today said the Welsh Government should "avoid language that draws us into a pointless confrontation with local government".