Welsh Minister for Finance and Local Government comments on funding for local authorities
Welsh Government Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans MS, today commented on the funding situation for local authorities at the Senedd.
Amid the ongoing and deepening cost-of-living crisis, Rebecca Evans MS was asked by Luke Fletcher MS about the consideration Welsh Government has given to how it can help local authorities devise contingency plans to mitigate against increased energy costs.
The Welsh Sports Association (WSA) will continue to make the case for this support to be extended to the leisure sector who deliver on behalf of local authorities.
The Minister responded by confirming that “discussions are live” and reassured that the Welsh Government’s “procurement team is involved in (those).”
Rebecca Evans MS went on to comment:
“What we’re doing at the moment is assessing the impact on prices and budgets for 2023/24, and our Welsh Government procurement professionals are currently working with suppliers and the Crown Commercial Services to support local authorities so they can plan, at least, with a level of confidence in terms of the numbers for the next year.
“As many of the local authorities’ contracts have already been agreed, I think we’re less worried this year,” she explained. “But our real concerns are for next year, and this is why it’s really important that the UK Government’s energy review concludes rapidly so that we can provide that confidence; but also that it really does consider the impact on local government, and on the third sector…, in terms of allowing them to keep on providing the vital services that they do.”
The Minister later added:
“We continue to prioritise funding for all local authorities in Wales through a transparent, equitable and jointly produced distribution formula for the local government settlement with our local government partners.”
View Wednesday’s Plenary session on the Senedd website.
The UK Government continues to assess the case for sectors to be considered “vulnerable” in its ongoing support on the costs of energy.
The WSA is working with our partners, in particular Community Leisure UK, to make the case for sport and leisure given the energy intensive nature of many of our buildings. In the meantime, we are working with Welsh Government to understand the impact of increased energy costs on sport and leisure provision in Wales, and we will continue to make the case for additional support here in Wales.
The WSA will also shortly be launching a Procurement Portal, powered by our partners 2buy2, to assist the sector while their procurement services are live now!