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Staff at 'breaking point' as Neath Port Talbot Council's public services face 'extinction'.

24th  Sept 2018 Wales Online

The local authority is facing a funding gap of 64m between now and 2023, and a union claims its public services could go the same way as the dinosaurs.

At a Unison-organised Q&A on Friday, September 21, involving council staff and local politicians, councillors called for an end to the cuts – saying public services were on the brink of collapse.

Councillor Hugh James told local Assembly Members and Members of Parliament: “Enough is enough. How long is austerity going to go on?

“Local government has been squeezed and squeezed. You can’t just put money into the health service.

“Staff are taking cuts, pay freezes – you’ve only got to walk around the three big buildings in Neath Port Talbot and see not many desks are full these days.

“How long is this going to go on for?”

The council’s finance director, Hywel Jenkins, asked politicians how they could expect local authorities to continue to provide quality services when they had to cut tens of millions of pounds.

He said: “Assembly funding is at best cash flat or cash reductions – how do you reconcile that with having to meet statutory services with less money and new legislation coming in?”

Unison branch secretary Jane Gebbie asked when the Welsh Assembly was going to fund all its “aspirational legislation” that it kept imposing on local government.

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