Leader of Ceredigion County Council, Councillor Ellen Ap Gwynn’s response to the Local Government Finance Settlement 2021/22.

“It was with real disappointment that I received the notification of the Local Government draft financial settlement for 2021/22. Following a really tough year and the personal assurance of Julie James MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government, to all Local Authority Leaders that we would have nothing to worry about in the next financial year, it was a real kick in the teeth to see that Ceredigion has only been awarded a 2% uplift for 2021/22.

Our projected cost pressures for next year are £6.5 million against which the proposed uplift of 2% will only give us £2m. This means a shortfall of £4.5 million which will inevitably mean a further uplift in Council Tax and further cuts.

At this level of cuts we are going to have to look at losing staff and due to continuous cuts over recent years these cuts will inevitably fall on our Care and Education services as all other services have been rationalised and cut to the bone already.

On behalf of the residents of Ceredigion, I would appeal to Mark Drakeford and his Cabinet colleagues to ensure that a funding floor is put in place to give all Counties a more equal settlement of around 4%. Following such a harrowing year for us all, during which Ceredigion County Council has wholeheartedly supported Welsh Government’s efforts to deal with this pandemic, it is the least Welsh Government can do to show their true appreciation to our staff who have given their all during these past difficult months.”