Plaid councillor warns over privatisation of Vale services

First published in News by

PLAID Cymru Councillor Ian Johnson has warned the Vale of Glamorgan against taking steps towards privatisation in their newly announced review of council services.

He said that Plaid Cymru will only support improved services, not unnecessary cuts.

The Vale Council has announced a Reshaping Services strategy and change programme as a result of cuts made to the council budget by the Labour run government in Cardiff.

Councillor Johnson said: "I welcome changes in service that lead to a better service for Vale residents and taxpayers, but that means that there must be clear and obvious benefits and improvements.

"The Vale of Glamorgan is a fairly well off local authority in Welsh terms, as you would expect after increasing council taxes by 9.5 per cent in the past two years, so we do not accept the need for swingeing cuts that don’t improve services.

“If we can improve services then Plaid Cymru will support any proposed changes, and we will engage with this process.

“However, we often find that so-called improvements are actually hiding cuts in services, with fewer front-line staff and a worse user experience – proposals for library service cuts being a case in example.

“Plaid Cymru are always concerned about spinning off parts of the council into the private sector where the for-profit sector may lead to corners being cut and safety being compromised – for staff and members of the public.

“There must also be a way for the council to maintain control over the quality of services provided and a level of accountability to our constituents and service users about the services they receive.

“Any cuts being made to local government services are now the sole responsibility of the Labour Government in Cardiff, and the Labour-led Vale Council.

“If they are not happy with their budget, then they should take that up with the Minister in Cardiff, not take it out on the Vale public through cuts to our essential public services.”

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