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Councils need to prioritise key services for the vulnerable - Peter Black

2013 Hydref 16 4:57 PM

Responding to the local government settlement published today, the Welsh Liberal Democrats Local Government Spokesperson, Peter Black, called on councils to prioritise vulnerable people in their spending plans.

"This is the first year that Welsh Councils have not been protected from the very difficult economic climate," said Mr. Black. "However, they have been aware that these cuts have been coming for some time and have had an opportunity to prepare for them. That does not make the decision making-process any easier but it does mean that officials and councillors have had time to think through how they make savings.

"I am pleased that the Welsh Government has found the bulk of the money needed to fund the Council Tax benefit scheme, that will mean that once more people in receipt of this assistance will not have to find their contribution from a very limited budget. I am pleased too that there will be additional support for education, bolstered by the £918 Pupil Deprivation Grant payment to schools for every child in receipt of free school meals, championed by the Welsh Liberal Democrats and forming part of the budget deal between the Government and two of the opposition parties.

"What is important in my view is that Councils now seek to protect key services, especially those targeted at vulnerable people. Part of that process must involve avoiding passing on the pain in high council tax bills."