FAIR FUNDING NEEDED FOR MONMOUTHSHIRE, SAYS MP

DAVID Davies MP has called on the Welsh Government to deliver a fair funding settlement to Monmouthshire.

In a letter to  Mr Davies said it was time to address the “monumentally unfair” local government funding formula which has left Monmouthshire languishing at the bottom of the pile.

Monmouthshire receives just £1,137 per person from the Welsh Government, compared to an average of around £1,500, while neighbouring Blaenau Gwent gets £1,688.

“For too many years, Monmouthshire has been the lowest funded local authority in Wales and the disparity is set to widen,” said Mr Davies.

“As a result, successive councils have seen their budgets squeezed and have been forced to make cuts to vital services, such as reductions in street lighting or changes to library provision.”

Mr Davies argues Monmouthshire is already the most fiscally well-run council in Wales with just 29 staff per 1,000 population. Denbighshire, often applauded for its efficiency, has over 40 employees per 1,000 population.

Even Cardiff with its size and opportunity for economies of scale has 33 members of staff per 1,000 population.

“There is simply no room for further savings by cutting staff and instead Monmouthshire is now being forced to save money in other areas,” he added.

“Monmouthshire is a large rural county and that rurality makes it more expensive to deliver services, yet the Welsh Government takes no account of this.

“I would like to gain cross-party support in Monmouthshire for a change in the way funding is allocated and I would hope that councillors on all sides of the political fence will back this.”

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