I'M SURE I wasn't the only one who was caught a little off guard when Plaid Cymru announced it was scrapping its co-operation deal with Labour last week.

The so-called compact, through which Plaid agreed to back a Labour-led Welsh Government in return for getting some of its priorities on the legislative programme, was signed following last year's Assembly election and allowed Labour to form a government despite being two seats short of a majority.

But last week Plaid announced it had scrapped the deal, citing its ongoing opposition to the M4 black route and concerns around Labour's refusal to scrap the public sector pay cap among the reasons it had done so.

At first glance this looks like it could be a very significant development, just a year and a half into the current Assembly term.

Labour only has 29 AMs and, without the support of Plaid, it could struggle to get some of its more contentious bills pushed through.

But let's take a step back and look at the reality of the situation.

While Labour is two seats short of the controlling majority it needs to guarantee its bills get approved, sole Liberal Democrat AM Kirsty Williams is in the cabinet as education secretary and therefore required to vote along government lines.

And this time last year former Plaid leader Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas left the party to sit as an Independent AM, saying he would back Labour.

Therefore, Labour theoretically has the 31 votes it needs to get its bills pushed through, even if every Plaid, Conservative, Ukip and the other two of the three Independent AMs vote against.

Although this assumes every Labour AM, along with Ms Williams, turns up to vote, and Lord Elis-Thomas makes good on his promise, it's the job of the whip's office to make sure this happens. And if they know what's good for them all the Labour AMs will make sure they turn up when called.

So it could be largely business as usual in the Senedd for the next few years.

But that's not to discount the impact the collapse of the agreement could have.

It's possible we could see more cross-party working to ensure new legislation gets widespread support, with more concessions made to the opposition parties.

Although there's an argument to be made that this could result in watered-down bills, it could also mean the views of more people are ultimately listened to and represented.

Lest we forget, due to the more-than-slightly wonky electoral system we've been saddled with, Labour is in overall control in Cardiff Bay despite getting less than a third of the vote last May.

So maybe the breakdown of the agreement could be best for everyone.

Or maybe we'll just see four years of endless negotiations and committees and nothing getting done.

Time will tell.

- Yesterday afternoon Welsh councils were due to find out just how much cash they will be handed to spend on services in the 2018-2019 financial year.

While I'm writing this before the figures are announced - see elsewhere on the Argus website for the full details - what everyone seems to agree on is some harsh cuts are on the cards.

Although budgets fell last year, finance secretary Mark Drakeford - then only a few months into the role - managed to keep cuts to a minimum.

But all the talk over the past few weeks has pointed to councils having to endure some very harsh cuts this year, and being forced into some very hard choices as a result.

The reality is social services, school budgets, public transport and other areas are going to have to be cut and council tax bills are going to go up by more than a few pounds.

What's certain is councils will blame the Welsh Government, which will pass the buck to the UK Government, which will no doubt point to the financial crisis which, they'll be keen to remind us, happened on the watch of a Labour government.

And so on and so forth.

While I'm certainly not apologising for the decisions made by our politicians and rest assured they'll be held to account for any cuts that are made, it's difficult to see what choice they have.

To roll out a modern cliches, there's no magic money tree.

Brace yourself, winter is coming.

- There's little point in adding to the reams which have been written about Theresa May's disastrous Conservative conference speech last week.

But is there any more appropriate analogy for the way things are going for her government than a set literally falling apart behind her while party colleagues shift uncomfortably in their seats?

Come back David Cameron, all is forgiven.