Thursday, 14 June 2018

Citizens' Advice service given reprieve - Tories try to claim the credit

Strange to see the Tories trying to claim the credit for a u-turn on funding for Citizens' Advice services in Wrexham. They also try to blame Plaid Cymru for not including it in an Alternative budget put forward by Labour that we supported.

The simple fact is that Plaid voted against the Tory-Independent budget and opposed the cuts in it.
The Tories voted for it and are now desperately wriggling around trying to blame others for not opposing it strongly enough!

Here's my response to the Tory letter in today's Leader:

Dear Editor
Don Sturgeon's attempts to muddy the waters on the Citizens' Advice funding are unsurprising, given that he's a Tory.
The reality is that all Tory councillors - along with the two independent groupings - voted for a budget earlier this year that cut key services including Citizens' Advice. Plaid Cymru, Labour and non-aligned councillors voted against that budget.
The subsequent change of heart and partial u-turn after only a few months owes much to the pressure put on the ruling alliance over such a vital service.
Plaid Cymru's group of councillors are glad that partial funding for the Citizens' Advice service has been agreed but it's only temporary. The ongoing and underlying problem is that Tory cuts continue to make it difficult, if not impossible, for councils and other public bodies to maintain services. Those gaping potholes and uncut grass verges, those overcrowded schools and closed community centres - the blame lies squarely with a Tory party that prioritises bailing out bankers to maintaining public services.
It's also a Tory party that is willing to spend billions on a pointless high-speed rail link from Birmingham to London and billions more on a Trident nuclear missile system while the level of poverty among children in Wales rises to a third.

Cllr Marc Jones
Plaid Cymru Wrexham

Tory councillor Andrew Atkinson also claims the £25,000 funding is enough to fund the service. This is at odds with what the manager of Wrexham's Citizens' Advice told the Executive Board - it needed £50,000 to continue as it was.

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