Janet's latest column in the North Wales Weekly News

Over the festive holiday many of us will have taken time to visit loved ones and share gestures of good will.

From unwrapping presents to feasting like kings, thanks to the selflessness of others many of us and our families will have experienced some excitement on Christmas day.

In fact, there has been a 63% increase in shoppers adding to the cost of Christmas by splashing out on gifts for more than 20 people.

The tradition of gift giving and spending time with others at Christmas stems back to the birth of Jesus, and the famous account of the three wise men following the star of Bethlehem to see him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

In 2019 we have seen the selfless tradition continue, including here in Conwy.

Hope Restored opened its doors to the homeless and vulnerable on Christmas day: serving meals and sharing gifts with people far less fortunate than us.

Cartrefi Conwy tenants and staff have been busy donating and wrapping gifts for older people who live alone.

And RSPCA Bryn-Y-Maen ran its very own special shoebox appeal so to give the dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets in their care special surprises over the holiday.

Unfortunately, our area’s festive spirit has been dampened by the Welsh Labour Government.

Thanks to the £600m boost provided to Cardiff Bay by the UK Government, the Welsh Government has been able to increase core funding for local government across Wales by 4.3% for 2020-21.

The Minister for Housing and Local Government has boasted that the settlement provides local government with the most stable platform she can offer for the forthcoming financial year.

This is untrue.

When looking at the Provisional Local Government Settlement in detail it is clear that Conwy County Borough Council is missing out.

Whilst labour led Newport should see a rise of 5.4%, Conwy is set to receive the second smallest percentage increase in Wales: 3.4%.

This is below the national average, and our Local Authority has already issued a warning that it could have a £12.5m deficit in the next financial year.

Conwy is now having to consider cuts and other ways of raising income so to try and achieve a balanced budget.

It cannot be right that four of the five smallest increases have gone to Local Authorities here in North Wales. 

The pressure on them as a consequence of the unfair provisional settlement is intolerable.

As we start the new year, I am committed to continue working with my Welsh Conservative colleagues in the National Assembly for Wales so to try an achieve fairer settlements, an independent review of the funding formula used, and improvements for our community here in Aberconwy.