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‘Brace yourself for even tougher times’

Created on 01/08/2013 @ 15:23


Public services in Powys should brace themselves for a harsh financial future following the latest UK national spending review.

The stark message was issued by Powys County Council Leader, Councillor David Jones, as part of a national debate on public finances with public, private and voluntary organisations in Wales.

“We have been hearing gloomy messages about the state of the nation’s finances for many years and the reality is the picture is not getting any better. Powys like other authorities in Wales has already felt the chill of austerity measures but I am afraid it will get worse before it gets better,” said Councillor Jones, who is from Guilsfield.

“The Government’s recent comprehensive spending review announced that a further £11.5billion would be cut from public spending signalling that the austerity measures would continue into the life of the next Parliament.

“As a result the Welsh Government will have to find significant savings for the next three years and since local government receives 80% of its funding nationally we will have to plan for far less funding.

“We have already faced budget reductions of more than 8.5% since the start of the recession and that has had a huge impact on the way we work. We have become a commissioning council – where we identify need and then plan and deliver services to meet that need – and understandably are concentrating our efforts on key areas such as social care and education.

“If we are to maintain service delivery in the face of further and deeper budget reductions we must continue to change the way we work and if anything pick up the pace and become more radical in our solutions.

“We will need to increase collaboration, challenge old models of service delivery and become even more flexible in our approach. The face of local government has to continue changing to meet the challenge of an era of austerity,” he added.

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