Plaid budget just doesn't stack up, says Kevin

South Wales Guardian: RIPOSTE: Kevin Madge has dismissed Plaid's budget proposals. RIPOSTE: Kevin Madge has dismissed Plaid's budget proposals.

PLAID Cymru's claims that Carmarthenshire county council can achieve "necessary savings" without slashing services, raising charges or compulsory redundancy have been dismissed by leader Kevin Madge.

Plaid, the largest group in County Hall, maintain their options would make over £7m available against the required policy savings of £4.3m which they say would spare all the 52 services listed for cuts or increased charges.

But, in a hard-hitting response, Cllr Madge said: "They are trying to convince the electorate that there is an alternative budget – but their figures just don't add up.

"I would like to challenge Plaid to explain how they think we can take money from the capital programme without damaging the chances of Ammanford having a new primary school in 2016/17?

"It is a grave disappointment to myself and my colleagues on the executive board that Plaid Cymru's leadership has come forward with budget proposals which are, quite frankly, not helpful at all.

"We rely heavily on match funding for many of our capital schemes, including care homes and our Modernising Education Programme.

"Therefore, £1million taken out will, in reality, mean £2 million less to invest.

"I wonder which school Plaid would like us to stop building? Because that is the reality we could be faced with if we deplete our capital programme."

"We have a number of MEP projects ongoing and in the pipeline. Taking money out of our capital programme is not an option if we are to complete this programme. In fact, it is foolish at best and highly risky at worst."

And, referring to Plaid's recent disclosure that almost 3,000 jobs within the local authority were paid less than the living wage of £7.65 am hour, Cllr Madge said the living wage was not something which could be achieved overnight.

"I certainly support the principle of a living wage," he said. "We've made a significant start on the process by raising the starting point of salaries from scale point 4 to point 7 over the last two years, giving those on the lowest grade a substantial rise."

"Next year we will look at this again to see if there is further help we can give those on the lowest salary point, within the severe budget restraints we face."

Comments (3)

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11:08am Sat 18 Jan 14

Meirion says...

I make this comment without political agenda but in the interest of justice.
Who is Kevin Madge to make any comment on any financial matters when he was on the Police Authority when discussions would have been made by him on the greatest robbery of British public funds - The Ammanford PFI Police Station.
Can I invite Kevin Madge to make a comment on this please.
I make this comment without political agenda but in the interest of justice. Who is Kevin Madge to make any comment on any financial matters when he was on the Police Authority when discussions would have been made by him on the greatest robbery of British public funds - The Ammanford PFI Police Station. Can I invite Kevin Madge to make a comment on this please. Meirion

1:24pm Sat 18 Jan 14

K Madge says...

Meirion wrote:
I make this comment without political agenda but in the interest of justice.
Who is Kevin Madge to make any comment on any financial matters when he was on the Police Authority when discussions would have been made by him on the greatest robbery of British public funds - The Ammanford PFI Police Station.
Can I invite Kevin Madge to make a comment on this please.
Could I point out to you I was not a member of the police authority when this decision was made. In fact at the time I was in opposition on the County Council so please get your facts right before making allegations!
Cllr Kevin Madge
[quote][p][bold]Meirion[/bold] wrote: I make this comment without political agenda but in the interest of justice. Who is Kevin Madge to make any comment on any financial matters when he was on the Police Authority when discussions would have been made by him on the greatest robbery of British public funds - The Ammanford PFI Police Station. Can I invite Kevin Madge to make a comment on this please.[/p][/quote]Could I point out to you I was not a member of the police authority when this decision was made. In fact at the time I was in opposition on the County Council so please get your facts right before making allegations! Cllr Kevin Madge K Madge

10:24am Sun 19 Jan 14

Meirion says...

I apologise and fully stand corrected.
That comment was made based on FOIA information obtained.
I accept that that information may now be wrong.
But, you would certainly have been on the Police Authority when it was proposed.
However: as Leader of the Carmarthenshire County Council and former Police Authority member you would be aware of who were those that did make those final decisions.
Therefore to remind you of Justice Colins' statement that " a Councillor's utmost duty is to the people that he/she represents" and with this being such a massive robbery of the public purse.
I ask as a matter of public interest and would seek a reply as part of your utmost leading position of public duty as to who was your successors that did make those final decisions in respect of the PFI Ammanford Police Station.
I think that the people deserve clarity, openness and transparency in respect of this matter. Don't you Mr Madge?
I apologise and fully stand corrected. That comment was made based on FOIA information obtained. I accept that that information may now be wrong. But, you would certainly have been on the Police Authority when it was proposed. However: as Leader of the Carmarthenshire County Council and former Police Authority member you would be aware of who were those that did make those final decisions. Therefore to remind you of Justice Colins' statement that " a Councillor's utmost duty is to the people that he/she represents" and with this being such a massive robbery of the public purse. I ask as a matter of public interest and would seek a reply as part of your utmost leading position of public duty as to who was your successors that did make those final decisions in respect of the PFI Ammanford Police Station. I think that the people deserve clarity, openness and transparency in respect of this matter. Don't you Mr Madge? Meirion

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