North Wales MS Mark Isherwood has today called on the First Minister to justify his proposed Local Government Settlement, with Local Authorities in North Wales set to lose out to other parts of Wales yet again, despite having higher numbers of resident older people.
Under the Settlement, North Wales Councils will see an average 3.4% increase compared to 4.17% in South Wales and 5.6% for top-placed Newport – and Wrexham receiving just 2.3%.
Taking part in today’s Plenary meeting of the Welsh Parliament, Mr Isherwood challenged Mark Drakeford over the unfairness of the settlement, given the higher population of older people in North Wales.
“Conwy, which again receives a below average increase, has the highest proportion of its population in the oldest age group of all Welsh Counties, with Anglesey – also receiving a below average increase - not far behind in 3rd position out of 22, and every North Wales County having a higher proportion of its population in the oldest age group than Newport, second from bottom, and Cardiff, bottom.
“How can your formula justify this, despite the weekly statements and protestations in this Senedd highlighting the rights and needs of older people, and the need to meet and fund these?”
In his response, the First Minister insisted that it is not the Welsh Government's formula, but “a the formula that is agreed with local government in Wales.”
Mr Isherwood added:
“This is very much a Labour Welsh Government Local Government Funding Formula, well past its sell-by date. Passing the buck to Welsh Local Government just doesn’t cut the mustard, which is why Welsh Conservatives would commission an independent review of the formula to ensure that all Councils in Wales receive a fair funding settlement”.