22 October 2010>
In response to the Comprehensive Spending Review, the leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Cllr Lindsay Whittle said, "Although we won't be fully clear on how the review affects the situation across Wales until next month, the Chancellor's announcements today give us a clear indication of the tough times we have ahead of us."
He continued, "The Chancellor outlined a 7.1% cut in council budgets every year over the next four years which will undoubtedly place a strain on the provision of council services across the board.
Cllr Whittle continued, "Despite these deep cuts in public spending announced today, let us also remember that potentially for Wales and its citizens some positive news came out of the Comprehensive Spending Review – news such as an extra £2bn being pledged for social care by 2014/15, together with the news that cold weather payment increases have been made permanent and all benefits for pensioners have been maintained at current levels for three years. These announcements potentially mean that some of our most vulnerable residents will be protected financially in areas where they were concerned about the possibility of cuts."
"I note with interest that voluntary sector organisations will have the opportunity of collaboration on initiatives and projects with public sector organisations – I firmly believe that innovation and collaboration are very much the key to success in these times of austerity".
Cllr Ron Davies, Cabinet Member for Regeneration added, "I was pleased to see the Chancellor recognise the importance of funding adult apprenticeships, which could mean an extra 75,000 people are helped into the workplace in the UK. It will be important to ensure South Wales has its fair portion of these apprenticeships. We will also be looking to the Assembly to mirror the Chancellor's commitment to providing 15 hours of education and care for two year olds from poorer backgrounds."
Cllr Lindsay Whittle continued, "We are obviously also disappointed to see cuts to police spending and to the Home Office's budgets – we hold community safety and reducing crime and disorder very high on our agenda in Caerphilly county borough, although we are not convinced Crime Commissioners are the long-term solution to local policing issues".
"We will watch with interest how the Welsh Assembly Government applies the Barnet formula in the Wales context. This council already has a good medium term financial business plan and, with prudent decision making and the support of local residents and businesses, we feel we will be well placed to manage the challenges that face us in the future".
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