Senior Labour figures criticise council funding decisions

Two senior Labour figures have criticised local government financial decisions as part of the draft 2019-20 Welsh budget.

In a leaked e-mail, Leader of Bridgend Council, Labour’s Cllr. Huw David, warned of a £57million “gap” in funding which could mean the loss of up to 3,700+ school staff posts – including teachers.

The e-mail, published on Wales Online, goes on to say: “I also know how passionate and committed you (Minister for Social Services & Children, Huw Irranca-Davies) are to improving educational outcomes for all children, but the reality of last week’s budget is that schools budgets will be cut unless major changes are made to the Welsh budget.

“As it stands one of the certain outcomes of the budget will be the impact on educational outcomes for children in Wales. There is an opportunity to change that.”

Elsewhere, the Environment Minister, Hannah Blythyn (Lab, Delyn) co-signed a letter with Jack Sargeant AM (Lab, Alyn & Deeside) and local MPs condemning cuts to Flintshire Council’s budget of up to 1% in the provisional local government settlement.

The Conservatives called for the Minister to consider her position, but she apologised to the First Minister for criticising government policy in public – which is normally a resignable offence by parliamentary conventions.

Further details on the draft Welsh budget are due to be revealed next week and will, naturally, be covered on Senedd Home.