- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Categories: Feature, Media
Published date: 15 February 2016 | Published by: Jonny Drury
THE extra £1.9 million added to Powys County Council’s settlement budget by the Welsh Government has been met with mixed reaction.
Conservatives and Plaid Cymru voted against the existing draft budget, while Lib Dem AMs abstained before it passed to its final stage.
Kirsty Williams, Lib Dem AM for Brecon and Radnorshire welcomed the extra money, and said: “The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been clear from the very beginning that there was absolutely no way these unfair cuts could be carried through.
“We made a stand on behalf of our rural communities and I am pleased we have been able to deliver for them.”
Mid and West Wales Lib Dem AM William Powell added: “The extra £1.9m for Powys is hugely welcomed, and will enable the council to safeguard services from cuts, such as adult social care, and will have a positive impact on the schools budget.”
Montgomeryshire’s Tory AM Russell George believes Tuesday’s announcement falls well short of the reform required.
He said: “Thanks to pressure from the Welsh Conservatives, the Welsh Government has partially reversed their planned cuts to rural councils, but this announcement falls well short of our calls for fundamental reform of the local government funding formula.
“Extra funding will be seen as too little, too late and it’s clear that rural councils are getting a raw deal.”
Plaid Cymru Shadow Public Services Minister and Mid and West AM Simon Thomas rejected the budget and said: “This is a partial u-turn, it is less than asked for by Powys Council and the Welsh Local Government Association.
“This budget has shown we need a new Welsh Government in May that understands the countryside and is passionate about its future.”
However Labour AM for Mid and West Wales Joyce Watson is pleased the Welsh Government has answered the appeal for more money.
She said: “This extra money does provide breathing space. I did work with Powys Council to lobby the public services minster about the funding formula. The Welsh Government has listened to and answered that appeal.”
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Original Source: http://www.newsnorthwales.co.uk/news/158513/politicians-divided-over-powys-funding-deal.aspx