Calum Higgins calls for grant funding shift
3:55pm Friday 13th September 2013 in News
TYCROES-based county councillor Calum Higgins has called for "a fundamental shift" in the way that grant money is given from the Welsh Government to local authorities and will be presenting his argument to the Public Services delivery commission in a written submission.
Currently hypothecated grants are handed down from Welsh Government for specific projects with strict restrictions.
This method of funding councils can cause difficulties in administration, which was demonstrated in a recent Welsh Audit Report to Carmarthenshire council. This year the Welsh Audit office charged Carmarthenshire Council approximately £153,746.
"The Welsh Audit office's job is to find fault with compliance," Cllr Higgins told colleagues. "They then charge Carmarthenshire taxpayers a fee for finding those faults and mistakes no matter how small they were. The way to correct this and ensure we don't have to pay these fees is to be more accurate with our paperwork."
Following the meeting Cllr Higgins submitted evidence to the Public Services Commission that it would save money and audit fees if grants were more flexible and were not so restrictive.
"Local Authorities should be given resources and designated the task which the Government wants to achieve," he said.
"They should then be allowed to get on with it and have the end product or achievement assessed, rather than have to duplicate paperwork in constant progress and compliance reports.
"If a specific job needs doing and gets done, then local councils should choose how to do it.'
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