Peter Fox and Sam Rowlands, the Conservative leaders of Monmouthshire and Conwy Councils, will join Welsh Conservative Shadow Cabinet meetings during the Covid-19 crisis to provide front line feedback and intelligence on how local authorities are adapting to the challenges and what they need to further improve their responses.
The Shadow Cabinet was today (21st April) also joined by the Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart MP.
The first of these regular meetings discussed the response of the Welsh Government to the Covid-19 pandemic including the scrapping of the testing target by the Welsh Labour Health Minister, the need for the £95 million of extra funding from the UK Government to go directly to local councils and it also discussed what more can be done to support businesses and the self-employed in Wales who are falling through the gaps in funding support.
Commenting on the meeting, Paul Davies AM, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly said:
“Welsh Conservatives are representing the whole of Wales from north to south, east to west and at every level. It is vital that together we understand the impact of Covid-19 on communities, public services and businesses right across Wales.
“More than ever, local government is on the frontline, they are on the frontline of this battle supporting the most vulnerable in our society which is why it is essential that the extra £95 million from the UK Government to the Welsh Government goes directly to councils. This means no top-slicing or hypothecating by Welsh Government – councils in Wales need the money to survive and they need it now.
“Since the start of the pandemic, the UK Government has given the Welsh Government an additional £2 billion to fight Covid-19. This massive investment in Wales needs to be spent wisely by the Welsh Government to boost our schools and hospitals. As Welsh Conservatives we will continue to scrutinise Ministers and hold the Government to account.”
Leader of Monmouthshire Council and the Welsh Conservative Councillors Association, Cllr Peter Fox OBE added:
“Local councils across Wales are facing huge financial pressures as a result of the pandemic with losses in income estimated at £33 million a month.
“More than ever before we need to be speaking with one voice in support of protecting the precious services people rely on. The Welsh Government has to ensure that we receive the funding and support we desperately need.”