The Welsh Liberal Democrats have made clear in the National Assembly today that the party will vote against the Local Government Settlement unless a better deal for rural authorities is put forward.
The Welsh Government recently published its draft settlement 2016-17 for local authorities. While the cuts to Local Government in the Welsh Government’s Draft Budget were less than feared, the Welsh Government’s formula to distribute the money to local authorities has meant that rural councils have been disproportionately hit.
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Assembly Member for B&R, Kirsty Williams, has had numerous meetings with the Finance Minister on this matter and is fighting to secure a better deal for rural communities. In contrast, the Conservatives have failed to do anything on this issue.
Kirsty Williams AM said:
“There is absolutely no way we could support cuts that hit rural areas so badly.
“I have been discussing this issue with Government Ministers to persuade them to introduce a rural grant and I believe this is a battle that can be won.”
William Powell, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, said:
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats are leading the fight for a better funding deal for our communities. Contrast this with the Tories who once again spend their time shouting from the side-lines and not actually lifting a finger to support our communities.
“These cuts are unfair and must be stopped. I have called upon Labour Government Ministers to attend a Rural Stabilisation Summit with council leaders involved so that views can be shared and we can find a way forward on this issue.”