Janet Finch-Saunders MS – the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – has today (24 June) urged the Welsh Government to ensure that Local Authorities do not foot the bill for the Track, Trace and Protect programme.
Her interventions came after figures revealed that Welsh Councils could face a deficit of approximately £173 million, through a loss of income and increased costs. The Welsh Local Government Association has also suggested that there is a 'risk that the disease will cast its long shadow over essential local services for years to come.'
Speaking of the situation, Janet said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen our Local Authorities go to extraordinary lengths to provide their usual essential services and bring reassuring clarity to residents under unprecedented circumstances.
“Too often during this period, however, the Welsh Government has irresponsibly added to local government's expenditure by shifting responsibility for the delivery of large scale policy programmes.
“Welsh Government must now guarantee that our Local Authorities will not foot the bill when supporting the delivery of its Track, Trace and Protect policy.
“It is a sad fact that Local Authorities across Wales are facing financial uncertainty. Welsh Government Ministers must urgently provide long term certainty to support our Councils in a period of lost income and increased expenditure as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.”