AM votes against 3% cut to council budget

MONMOUTH  Assembly Member Nick Ramsay has condemned the Welsh Government’s budget proposals as “woeful” following a debate and vote in the Senedd on Tuesday.

The Welsh Government Budget 2015/16 includes a 3% cut to Monmouthshire County Council’s budget for the coming  year, making it the joint third worst settlement in Wales along with Powys and Ceredigion County Councils.

Mr Ramsay, the Shadow Finance Minister, accused the Welsh Government of failing to address years of Labour cuts to NHS funding and offering a poor deal to rural Wales, while incredibly increasing spending on central services and administration.

“Labour Ministers, in recent years, have starved our NHS of one billion pounds,” he said. “I have continually highlighted that any piecemeal, pre-election funding is an admission of failure as to the dangerous nature of previous funding settlements for our cherished NHS. It is  no substitute for long term protection of the NHS budget. Quite simply, it’s too little, too late.”

Mr Ramsay also attacked the budget for delivering another hammer blow for Wales’ rural communities.

Voting against the proposed 3% cut to Monmouthshire County Council’s budget, Mr Ramsay said Monmouthshire had once again received one of the worst financial settlements from the Welsh Government.

“I have repeatedly called for reform of the local government formula. This settlement once again fails to recognise the costs of delivering services across a wide rural area and is deeply damaging to our rural community,” he said.

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