Tough £10m cuts supported by Blaenau Gwent AM
12:31pm Tuesday 24th December 2013 in News
BLAENAU Gwent AM Alun Davies has said he supports the difficult decisions made by the council after it agreed on £10 million of cuts last week.
Around 164 jobs from across the council are expected to go as part of the cuts, which were supported by the majority of councillors.
But the independent group voted against the cuts, saying the impact on the community had not been properly assessed.
The budget cuts include a minimum of 164 job losses across services, a Meals on Wheels price hike, and cutting funding for some grants and subscriptions budgets which could affect sports organisations, residents associations, allotments and churches in the area.
The decision to cut ground maintenance by £502,000 was also approved.
The £10 million deficit needs to be addressed in order to balance the 2014/15 revenue budget.
Mr Davies said: “Blaenau Gwent Council has to make £10 million of savings and there is no way that can be achieved without making some very tough decisions.
“The authority has asked for volunteers for redundancy and early retirement and the hope is the majority of job losses with be met on those terms. No-one wants to see cuts but there is simply not the money to continue to fund all services at the current level.
“Councils all across Wales are being hit by a decrease in funds from the UK Government and it is a very challenging period,” he said. “Welsh Government has protected councils in Wales from the worst of the UK Government’s public service cuts.
“Even these very difficult decisions are a fraction of what is facing councils in England.
“Now is not the time for a debate on the rights and wrongs of the situation, it is vital we work together to get the best outcome possible with the resources available.
He added: “I will be working hard with councillors across Blaenau Gwent to minimise the impact of these cuts and I am glad the council is protecting services to the most vulnerable.”
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