Council funding formula ‘not fit for purpose’

By Chris Were   |   Reporter   |
Friday 4th March 2022 10:07 am
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Laura Anne Jones MS.
Laura Anne Jones MS. (Welsh Government )

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South Wales East Senedd member Laura Anne Jones has criticised the funding formula for local governments, calling it ‘unfair’.

A motion was tabled which criticises the current local government funding formula, calling it ‘not fit for purpose’. The motion also calls for an external independent review of the funding of local governments to ensure its fairness across the country.

Ms Jones said: “Some of the struggling low-income families in Wales out there could be potentially left without the services or support that they need, or have to deal with council tax rises because they happen to live in a rural area, where they work, that is deemed affluent.

She added that Monmouthshire County Council are consistently at the bottom of the table when funds are distributed, and that the innovation and financial discipline of MCC meant that much needed support for the most vulnerable and the less-well-off doesn’t have to suffer because of the unfair deal that they receive from Welsh Government.

“The way that our councils have reacted to the pandemic just shows how valuable they are, and I extend my thanks to them also. It was impressive to see how councils were able to reorganise, adapt to where their constituents most needed them; how they became a blanket for the most vulnerable in this national crisis; how councils react to flooding. Whatever is thrown at them, they are always on the front line, delivering to our constituents. We need our councils, all councils, across the whole of Wales, regardless of which party runs them.”

She explained that rural councils cannot deliver some of the efficiencies that can be driven in small geographical areas in the way that cities can.

She said: “We are on the brink of facing a crisis in our councils due to the enormous extra pressures that an ageing population brings, particularly in our health and social care budgets in councils. It is a problem and a financial pressure that is only going to get worse.”

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