FRONTLINE services in Torfaen are likely to be hit by budget cuts next year, according to Torfaen council leader, Anthony Hunt.

The leader's comments follow Finance Minister Mark Drakeford’s announcement that councils in Wales will see cash cuts of 0.5 per cent next year and 1.5 per cent the year after.

Torfaen council's year on year cash cut will be 0.8 per cent or around £1million.

Cllr Hunt said the Welsh Government are in a “difficult position” and that the settlement will require “significant savings from an already overstretched budget”.

“After seven years of austerity, the options available to councils to save money whilst preserving local services are running out,” he said.

He added it was “still too early to say precisely what these figures will mean for council services in 2018” but pledged to “strain every sinew” to protect funding in key areas.

This includes schools, services for vulnerable residents and other “valued community services”.

The council leader added: "Over several consecutive years we have taken tough decisions to balance the books and we will look at every corner of the council to ensure we are ruthlessly efficient in our financial management.

“Over the last seven years of austerity we have made £57million of savings and predict we’ll need to save as much as £15 million more over the next 4 years.

“We are rapidly approaching a tipping point and will have little left to cut other than from the essential services that are the fabric of local government.

"At the same time, cuts in Government funding mean that hard-pressed council tax payers end up paying more for less. If we want public services as we know them to survive, the UK Government must end austerity.”