Windfall for Councils #SaveWILG

I had a rather interesting email in my inbox this afternoon. It was from my Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths. My eyes were drawn to the following story:

Extra £60m for Councils in Wales Over Next Two Years

Wrexham Council’s budget for the upcoming financial year is increasing.

The final local government settlements put forward by the Welsh Government before Christmas state that Wrexham Council will receive a 0.4% increase to its budget in the next financial year – a fact I’ve highlighted to the Council Leader on more than one occasion.

Clearly financial pressures remain as the UK Government continues its flawed drive towards austerity.

However, it is disappointing the increase in funding from Welsh Government has not been publically acknowledged or welcomed by the Local Authority.

I believe it’s important Wrexham residents recognise decisions to cut funding for music services and introduce parking charges at country parks and for blue badge holders, have been solely devised and pursued by the Tory/Independent Councillors that run Wrexham Council.

I think I have a good relationship with Lesley Griffiths AM and fully support the work she does in the community. She also represents me well in negotiations with the impossible local council.

It is interesting that she points out that Wrexham councils budget has been increased by such a large amount while they still continue with there campaign of cruel ideological austerity. Lesley is right to point at decisions to cut funding for music services and introduce car parking charges for blue badge holders. I would like to point out that these cuts also apply to social care and the loss of WILG – a disgraceful decision by Welsh labour – to support local authority payments , is likely to be disastrous for the independent living of disabled people.

One of the things that was made crystal clear throughout the consultation and all of the discussions before and after is that it is the experience of disabled people and unpaid Carers that some local authorities simply cannot be trusted to translate the 2014 Social Services and Well-being Act into genuine independent living for those who require high levels of support.
I also received another email from Momentum informing me of the candidates for the forthcoming Welsh Labour Deputy Leader race. The outstanding candidate seems to be Julie Morgan who I will definitely be supporting. I only hope that she is one of the few Welsh Labour voices to see the unfairness of ending WILG so suddenly and putting disabled people with high care and support needs at risk of negligence from local authorities.

 

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