Plaid Cymru’s Peredur Owen Griffiths has accused a Labour-run local authority of behaving like ‘Scrooge.’
The Senedd Member for the South Wales East region levelled the accusation at Caerffili County Borough Council for hoarding £180m in their reserves. This is an increase of £40 million since 2019. It is also £22 million more than the much larger Cardiff Council holds in reserves.
The question was asked during a fiery exchange at First Minister’s Questions earlier today. Peredur said: “From speaking to council leaders in my region, it's fair to say that many were pleasantly surprised by the latest financial settlement.
“It must therefore be disappointing, from your perspective, to see your party colleagues in Caerphilly county borough sitting on a reserve of £180 million, an increase of £40 million between the financial years of 2019 to 2021.
“This is £22 million more than the much larger Cardiff Council has in its reserves. Whilst this cash is hoarded, we see leisure facilities closing, street lights have been turned off and day-care centre provision for profoundly disabled adults being slashed.
“Cash is not the only solution to these problems, but, in almost all cases, it would help alleviate the situation and restore some services.
“First Minister, do you get frustrated when you provide adequate financial settlements for your party colleagues in local government for them to sit on these piles of cash, like some council version of Scrooge?”
In reply, the First Minister Mark Drakeford said local authorities had to have earmarked reserves and keep money for school building.
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