The leader of Carmarthenshire County Council has warned that jobs and services will be axed following the announcement of swingeing cuts to local authority budgets.
Speaking bluntly with the Guardian, Councillor Kevin Madge lashed out at Westminster and Cardiff Bay for “devastating public services” after it was confirmed he would be forced to oversee £8million worth of additional cuts in the next financial year.
That figures comes on top of an eye-watering £10m already cut from next year’s spend as part of a £30m cost-cutting measure imposed by central government last year.
“Local Government Minister Lesley Griffiths wrote to all council leaders last week saying that she was looking for an extra 4.5 percent cut, plus inflation,” Cllr Madge told the Guardian.
“With inflation, that equates to around 6% which means Carmarthenshire is required to find an extra £8m on top of the £10m we are already looking to cut.
“It was all but impossible to find the £30m we have already been forced to find, but to now to be told to find another £8m is unbelievable.
“We cannot keep cutting – it just is not possible.
“We are already beyond the point where people are starting to see the impact on their everyday lives.
“We do not know where we can find the money without devastating services and the question we are having to ask ourselves is which services are we going to devastate – it is at that stage.
“People will say don’t cut this or don’t cut that, but without offering any alternate solutions.
“There are services which are going to be lost altogether and there are going to be job losses – it cannot be avoided.
“We are the biggest employer in the area and for us to be forced to impose job cuts will devastate communities.
“We are in a crisis – it is unlike anything that has happened before.
“This is a whirlwind situation and local government simply cannot be made to continue cutting where there is nothing left, but that is what we are being ordered to do.”