MONMOUTH AM Nick Ramsay has voiced his disappointment that while some councils will see a cash increase in their budgets for 2017-2018, funding for Monmouthshire will remain virtually unchanged at £91 million.

Mr Ramsay has previously condemned the Welsh Government on the unfair way it calculates local authority funding, which has resulted in rural authorities such as Monmouthshire being the hardest hit. He also called for a new formula for distributing funding to local authorities, which recognised the added burden of delivering services in rural areas.

The Draft Local Government Settlement 2017-18 will see a total of £4.1 billion divided between Wales’ 22 local councils, a cash increase of £3.8 million on 2016-17.

Commenting on the provisional local government settlement, Mr Ramsay said: “While the incremental increase in the Draft Local Government Settlement 2017-2018 is welcome, this fails to cover the £265 million taken out of local government budgets since 2013.

“Before the announcement of an extra £2.5 million in February 2016 for Powys, Ceredigion and Monmouthshire, they were due to receive cuts of 4.1 per cent, 3.4 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively. The Local Government Settlement figures for 2016-17 showed that they still face a three per cent cut in funding, making their settlements the joint worst in Wales.

“Including the 2017-18 Draft Settlement proposals, councils across Wales have faced a six per cent decrease in their budgets since 2013-2014, with rural councils facing the biggest decreases/

“Monmouthshire faced an overall fall in funding at 9.96 per cent and continues to get a raw deal.”