Your MP Paul MurphyTorfaen
2:02pm Sunday 25th August 2013 in News
Congratulations to everyone who picked up their GCSE grades on Thursday. In my recent work as the Welsh Oxbridge Ambassador, I’ve met countless inspiring young people who have worked hard for their qualifications. They are proof of a far more positive side to our young people than often gets portrayed in the media.
Well done also to the teachers who put in the hard work needed to help young people get the best possible grades, and to the parents who played their part by encouraging their children. To our young people, whatever you do next, continue to aim high and do your best. Most of all, don’t listen to anyone my age who tries to devalue your achievements with boring ‘in my day’ negativity!
This week marks the deadline for responses to the Williams Commission on the organisation of public services in Wales. The Commission, which will include a look at the number of Councils in Wales, may seem to some to be a bit of a distraction when public services are having to cope with less and less money each year. It is right, though, to look at how we organise how our local services. However, I would caution the commission to take real care in what they recommend. Our Councils are more than just administrative zones - they represent distinct communities. Larger councils risk devaluing the ‘local’ part of local Government, which would be a great pity. Yes, Councils should continue to work together to deliver services where that can save money or improve standards. But it shouldn’t just be presumed that larger Councils would be more efficient or better at running services.
Furthermore, any re-organisation would have to show itself to be value for money, as it would cost a great deal of money at a time when local finances are tighter than ever. I also fear that fewer Councils would lead to redundancies for staff, something that would greatly impact on our more deprived areas. Our unemployment figures are already too high. Anything that puts more people out of work, especially when good jobs are so hard to come by, should be avoided if at all possible.
Our Councils are doing their best to deal with the impact of the most destructive Government in a generation. Take the bedroom tax – a problem created by an ignorant, callous central Government. It is local Councils who have to pick up the pieces and help those whose lives are thrown into jeopardy. There is only one solution to the devastation caused to local services by the cuts coming from Westminster – we need to get rid of this awful UK Government, not our local Councils.