23/06/2013 The Wales Report


23/06/2013

A look at the tough times ahead for local authorities in Wales facing funding cuts. Plus, the changing face of the UK - a look ahead to the independence referendum in Scotland.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 23/06/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Tonight: Welsh councils under a huge financial pressure with more

:00:08.:00:13.

budget cuts on the way. The challenges facing the Welsh Rugby

:00:14.:00:19.

Ian -- regions to capture the hearts and souls of rugby fans. And

:00:19.:00:26.

changing the face of the UK and how the debate on Scottish independence

:00:26.:00:36.
:00:36.:00:38.

Good evening and welcome to the Wales Report. This week we're in

:00:38.:00:41.

Llanelli, my home town, as part of our series of special programmes

:00:41.:00:46.

coming from locations all across Wales. And, tonight, there are

:00:46.:00:49.

stark warnings over the future provision of many of our essential

:00:49.:00:52.

services provided by councils in Wales as local authorities face

:00:52.:00:56.

larger than expected budget cuts. Next week, the Chancellor is set to

:00:56.:00:59.

unveil the Government's spending plans for 2015 and 2016 with Wales

:00:59.:01:08.

bracing itself for more bad news. So, how are those with the job of

:01:08.:01:12.

delivering our services preparing? Helen Callaghan has been finding

:01:12.:01:22.
:01:22.:01:23.

Over the next few years, it seems the deep cuts we keep being warned

:01:23.:01:30.

about are coming across Wales. Here and elsewhere, those who provide

:01:30.:01:36.

council services will be put crate -- paying particular attention to

:01:36.:01:40.

what the Chancellor does in the comprehensive spending review and

:01:40.:01:48.

watching to see where the axe falls. What the chance Loat cuts will down

:01:48.:01:54.

the line have an impact on all our frontline services because George

:01:54.:02:01.

Osborne's comprehensive spending review largely determines the total

:02:01.:02:08.

amount of block grant money the Welsh government ends up with. So,

:02:08.:02:13.

Wales's 22 local authorities have been warned to brace themselves for

:02:13.:02:22.

at a painful financial future. One councillor, the leader of

:02:22.:02:25.

Carmarthenshire County Council, is preparing for the worst. At the

:02:25.:02:32.

moment, we are really worried. I cannot remember any time in 35

:02:32.:02:37.

years the pressure that elected members are under now. We were

:02:37.:02:42.

planning to at least look at 5 million cutbacks again this year.

:02:42.:02:47.

It looks like it might possibly be 10 million or more. If the cuts are

:02:47.:02:53.

planned, some services will completely disappear. It is the

:02:53.:02:57.

front line services - leisure, parks and all these things people

:02:57.:03:02.

rely on. They are services which will suffer even more. The biggest

:03:02.:03:07.

chunk of any local authority's budget goes on education and no one

:03:07.:03:12.

wants to cut that. Councils will be under a huge amount of pressure

:03:12.:03:17.

from teaching unions and others to make sure there is enough money to

:03:17.:03:22.

drive up standards. We are worried because we don't want to see more

:03:22.:03:29.

cuts to end -- education. We are still under span -- underspending.

:03:29.:03:37.

But the budgets are protected. that is true but we have correctly

:03:37.:03:44.

underspent over the last decade and now we are seeing a funding gap of

:03:44.:03:49.

over �600 and that is there. A but most of the Welsh Government's cash

:03:49.:03:54.

is spent on the health service and many say costs in this sector will

:03:54.:04:02.

only go one way, up. It will be very challenging. It is the third

:04:02.:04:06.

year we have had a flat cash settlement so in real terms it has

:04:06.:04:11.

been a reduction. Our health boards have come in on budget but it will

:04:11.:04:15.

be a big ask to do the same again this year and continued to deal

:04:15.:04:21.

with the continuing demand of an ageing population. So, ever-growing

:04:21.:04:25.

demands and shrinking budgets will require different ways of working

:04:25.:04:30.

in future and all public service providers are looking at creative

:04:30.:04:36.

ways to keep facilities and project going. For schools, teaching unions

:04:36.:04:40.

and experts believe the fewer educational authorities may well

:04:40.:04:45.

help to raise standards and be a more efficient use of resources.

:04:45.:04:50.

There are things we need to look at how we spend money and 22 local-

:04:50.:04:55.

authority is doing things in their own ways is not the best way. The

:04:55.:04:59.

review we saw on Tuesday will help in that regard but we have to look

:04:59.:05:05.

at how we get the money to the front line. In the Welsh Health

:05:05.:05:08.

Service they are already restructured and there are now

:05:08.:05:12.

seven health boards. They think they can work even more efficiently

:05:12.:05:17.

by collaborating more with councils. The big change will be working

:05:17.:05:24.

collaboratively. We have very good relationships in our area with

:05:24.:05:28.

different councils so it is forgetting about the organisational

:05:28.:05:32.

boundaries and focusing on the needs of the patient or the users.

:05:32.:05:38.

Is that the way forward in the future? It has to be. In a way, we

:05:38.:05:43.

have nowhere else to go. The business as normal is no longer

:05:43.:05:48.

feasible. We have to change. Councils across Wales are also

:05:48.:05:52.

being urged by the Welsh government to work more closely together to

:05:52.:05:57.

improve the delivery of services with limited funds. When you have

:05:57.:06:02.

to work different league to cope with that kick the cuts? Yes, we

:06:02.:06:09.

will have to work more closely with other authorities. Everything needs

:06:09.:06:14.

to be looked at and what savings we can do within the system, these

:06:14.:06:20.

things will have to happen. councils tried to counteract any

:06:20.:06:26.

future caps, stand by for working together becoming the norm,

:06:26.:06:31.

possible restructuring and rises in council tax. Even if all of that

:06:31.:06:36.

comes our way, many accept there is no getting away from it. Services

:06:36.:06:42.

and maybe jobs will be lost under losses will be keenly felt in all

:06:42.:06:50.

Joining me now is the leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Assembly,

:06:51.:06:59.

Andrew RT Davies and Local Government consultant Jeff Jones.

:06:59.:07:04.

Good to have you with us, gentlemen. Someone said to me the other day

:07:04.:07:09.

there was a tidal wave of cuts coming towards us. Is that true?

:07:09.:07:13.

Whether it be that budget or the public spending review, there is

:07:13.:07:18.

always speculation. But we know the economy is healing and there are

:07:18.:07:22.

more jobs than they have ever been and ultimately this structural

:07:23.:07:28.

deficit has been cut. We need to go further on some of the measures but

:07:28.:07:37.

we do not know the facts yet. two is a bit open. He has given a

:07:37.:07:41.

politician's answer is that his party is doing fantastic things but

:07:41.:07:47.

the reality is the IFS. After 2015 there will be even bigger cuts. The

:07:47.:07:52.

assembly does not raise money so if the UK government cuts the grant,

:07:52.:07:57.

the assembly has to pass those cuts on. The assembly can make a

:07:57.:08:02.

decision way to make big cuts but you cannot cut the National Health

:08:02.:08:06.

Service and education is a key element in the revival of Wales say

:08:06.:08:10.

something will go. It will be issues like local government and

:08:10.:08:15.

that has warned this week we are heading for a tough time. Andrew is

:08:15.:08:19.

like a top man on the beach thinking the tidal wave will not

:08:19.:08:25.

hit him into it is on hot -- on top of him. That is a load of cobblers.

:08:25.:08:32.

I appreciate getting value for money. My own local council in

:08:32.:08:37.

Cardiff has advertised for 11 new director positions at �100,000. Is

:08:37.:08:44.

that what people pay their council tax for? A lot of councils show

:08:44.:08:50.

there is an inability to work collaboratively. We have had a

:08:50.:08:55.

debacle over senior pay in one Council. I appreciate there is an

:08:56.:09:01.

element of the budget for salaries but it shows a wider mentality of

:09:01.:09:06.

Silo is thinking instead of working collaboratively. Plenty can be done

:09:06.:09:12.

and if they can't do it, I will point it out to them. We have a few

:09:12.:09:21.

practical examples then. From your experience, these spending

:09:21.:09:27.

adjustments or changes coming in, what practical effect will it have

:09:27.:09:32.

and where will local-authority is looked to save money? We saw the

:09:32.:09:35.

report this week and the education minister will insist that money

:09:35.:09:40.

goes to schools, quite rightly, to improve children's education. It is

:09:40.:09:46.

difficult. Social services are demand led say you cannot Cup does.

:09:46.:09:52.

What can you cut? The environment? The man you see picking up papers

:09:52.:09:57.

might not be there in two years and roads will not be repaired and you

:09:57.:10:01.

local libraries. Nobody can disagree with working

:10:01.:10:04.

collaboratively but it was fascinating this week that a

:10:04.:10:08.

Conservative MP pointed out that in Westminster there are 20

:10:08.:10:16.

departments of state, in Seiden, 12 and in the USA, 15 -- in Sweden.

:10:17.:10:20.

Why isn't he suggesting restart a market-making departments in the

:10:20.:10:25.

assembly. Conservatives believe in small government and they should be

:10:25.:10:30.

shouting it from the rooftops but they are afraid of losing votes.

:10:30.:10:35.

That is a valid debate, but crucially, what about the number of

:10:35.:10:39.

local authorities in Wales which seems to be a mismatch. How does

:10:39.:10:45.

that fit into the picture of the spending patterns? We need to see

:10:45.:10:48.

greater collaboration with local authorities and making sure they

:10:48.:10:54.

deliver for local authorities. of them? We have to look at a whole

:10:54.:11:00.

range of governance in Wales and better consultation. What am saying

:11:00.:11:03.

is that we need a model of government that delivers for the

:11:03.:11:08.

people of Wales rather than delivering for the bureaucrats.

:11:08.:11:13.

What model are you proposing? means a smaller type of local

:11:13.:11:18.

government but I am not an expert on it. You have no idea how many

:11:18.:11:22.

there should be? It has to be determined by the people who want

:11:22.:11:27.

local government delivering for them and in our manifesto we will

:11:27.:11:31.

put that forward. We will propose that and in 2016 we will put it to

:11:32.:11:36.

the people of Wales and it will be up to them to vote. Thanks for

:11:36.:11:40.

coming in. The Scarlets rugby region will soon be launching a new

:11:40.:11:43.

heritage trail here at Parc Y Scarlets. Supported by Heritage

:11:43.:11:47.

Lottery Fund money, it will tell people about the massive part rugby

:11:47.:11:56.

has played in the history and culture of the area. And one of the

:11:56.:12:00.

greatest memories will be the day in 1972 when Llanelli beat the All

:12:00.:12:10.
:12:10.:12:15.

Some of us were lucky enough to be there. And, yes, I was there.

:12:15.:12:19.

Unforgettable moments. But in the modern game, are the Welsh rugby

:12:19.:12:23.

regions as important to the culture and story of their area as the

:12:23.:12:29.

clubs before them? And just how big a challenge is it to run a

:12:29.:12:31.

successful sporting business in such difficult economic times?

:12:31.:12:34.

Joining me now is Mark Davies, the Scarlets' chief executive -

:12:34.:12:43.

formerly a senior executive at Honda Europe. Great to be here. It

:12:43.:12:48.

is several years since the move happened. How would you describe it

:12:48.:12:54.

as a business and a club? As a business, it is a challenge because,

:12:54.:13:00.

to put it starkly, the Scarlets play out their 16 days of the year

:13:00.:13:05.

so the key for us, therefore, is how to use that overhead to

:13:06.:13:13.

generate revenues throughout six -- 365 days of the year to ensure we

:13:13.:13:17.

contribute to our performance on the field. Let us talk about the

:13:17.:13:24.

relationship with the WI. If it works, things are Rosie but if not

:13:24.:13:28.

it is difficult. What is it about the relationship that works today

:13:28.:13:34.

and what needs a bit of mending? guess the first thing is it is a

:13:34.:13:39.

working relationship and it is a working relationship with five

:13:39.:13:47.

parties. They are five separate entities. That will always have

:13:47.:13:57.
:13:57.:14:10.

some element of disagreement. different sites. If it takes time,

:14:10.:14:17.

it takes time. Do you think people are fully sympathetic and are you

:14:18.:14:23.

getting the support you need to thrive as a business? Were a stage

:14:23.:14:31.

where the WRU understand and accept the dynamics of the regional as Mrs

:14:31.:14:38.

as a result of the work put in by the PwC on the report that they

:14:38.:14:45.

provided. That is a good start point. There is no debate now about

:14:45.:14:50.

what those numbers are. There is no debate about the effort that has

:14:50.:14:57.

gone end in all four regions to improve that model. To improve the

:14:57.:15:02.

cost basis of the business, to the engage with the premiership clubs,

:15:02.:15:06.

the semiprofessional clubs, to engage with the clubs through the

:15:06.:15:14.

develop and pathways. I think there is an understanding of what the

:15:14.:15:19.

business platform is now and that is the start point to see OK, that

:15:19.:15:23.

might not make any of us comfortable, but it is what it is.

:15:23.:15:31.

Let's try to move forward from there to find better solutions.

:15:31.:15:33.

confident are you that the relationship with the WRU is

:15:33.:15:39.

confident enough to allow you to make that progress? I think I have

:15:40.:15:46.

to be confident of the relationship because there is nowhere else to go.

:15:46.:15:56.
:15:56.:15:56.

We are absolutely in to rely on it so in that context we are partners.

:15:56.:16:03.

We probably need to learn to be bitter partners on both sides a lot

:16:03.:16:07.

of the time. Actually there is a belief and understanding on both

:16:07.:16:11.

sides know that we have to work together better than we have done in

:16:11.:16:17.

the past. Whatever structure be put in place to do that, that remains

:16:17.:16:25.

the answer. When does that struck me to be in place? Yesterday would be

:16:26.:16:30.

good. It is still a discussion and debate that we are having. We have

:16:30.:16:35.

been having that discussion and debate for some time as you know and

:16:35.:16:39.

we keep hitting little articles along the way but we are not giving

:16:39.:16:47.

up. It is too important, too important for Welsh rugby. I cannot

:16:47.:16:53.

give you a timescale, I wish I could. People will be watching

:16:53.:16:59.

wondering if you are talking about months. I am talking about months. I

:16:59.:17:05.

would like to be talking about weeks but realistically it will be months.

:17:05.:17:10.

Now given the excellent news from us truly yesterday, hopefully that will

:17:10.:17:17.

carry on in the weeks ahead. The are seeing are building up of the debate

:17:17.:17:22.

on Scottish independence. That future settlement of the

:17:22.:17:25.

Constitution in the UK will of course affect that season wheels

:17:25.:17:32.

whatever happens. Some people think that the logic of this is a new

:17:32.:17:42.
:17:42.:17:53.

federal subject for the United Kingdom. When it comes to the

:17:53.:17:57.

newsletter written British constitution they there is nothing

:17:57.:18:01.

new under the sun. Federal home rule under which each UK nation would

:18:02.:18:08.

have its own parliament to deal with peculiar fears while returning

:18:08.:18:12.

members to the supreme Parliament in London to dispose of imperial

:18:12.:18:19.

concerns. Today, K at the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh and the rash

:18:19.:18:24.

similar ceremonies in Cardiff and Belfast, the peculiar fears of

:18:24.:18:34.
:18:34.:18:34.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are discussed. It certainly could

:18:34.:18:37.

not be called federal, quiet I federal perhaps but not a formal

:18:37.:18:44.

federation in the manner of Canada, the US or Germany and Switzerland. I

:18:44.:18:47.

find this cutie is because I have long believed the federal United

:18:47.:18:52.

Kingdom is the obvious solution to the constitutional flocks in which

:18:52.:18:58.

the nations and regions currently find themselves. Public opinion in

:18:58.:19:02.

Scotland and increasingly in England concurs, favouring upon me rather

:19:02.:19:09.

than full independence. It would need stitching together. It would

:19:09.:19:12.

build on existing constitutional architecture such as the Scottish

:19:12.:19:16.

parliament here at Holyrood. It would also kill several birds with

:19:16.:19:21.

one stone addressing the deficit of England and rebalancing the UK

:19:21.:19:25.

centre of gravity while we constituting the house of lords to

:19:25.:19:32.

provide a balance. Federalism remains that the a word in British

:19:32.:19:36.

politics, ignored by the mainstream media and regarded as an almost

:19:36.:19:46.
:19:46.:19:50.

alien concept by most UK politicians. A policy review was led

:19:50.:19:55.

by summing S Campbell. I spoke to Willie Rennie about the policy of

:19:55.:20:05.
:20:05.:20:11.

federalism. What would a federal Scotland and UK mean? Our proposals

:20:11.:20:15.

might act as a trigger for other parts of the UK in the regions of

:20:15.:20:20.

England and in Wales. It can mature the debate in Wales about more

:20:20.:20:30.

powers. That is a really good thing. That is a good step in the right

:20:30.:20:34.

direction. I think it is an unstoppable force. You will get

:20:34.:20:38.

Wales demanding more as they get more. You might do something

:20:38.:20:42.

different from what is happening in Scotland but that is the great thing

:20:42.:20:49.

about the United Kingdom, you have got variety. This senior Scottish

:20:49.:20:57.

Tory believes there is Scottish Conservative case for a federal UK.

:20:57.:21:03.

The question is what do you do about England? You cannot have a federal

:21:03.:21:09.

system where one component part has 85 cent of the population and the

:21:09.:21:14.

overwhelming majority of the wealth. Until there is desire within parts

:21:14.:21:20.

of England for greater demolition it is interesting to ask how federalism

:21:20.:21:25.

will work. Boris Johnson in London is calling for greater powers in

:21:25.:21:30.

London, perhaps that debate could stand up just a little. Even if

:21:30.:21:36.

people in the North of England voted for regional assemblies a few years

:21:36.:21:41.

ago I think growing interest in the counterbalance that the power of

:21:42.:21:46.

wealth is in England. If we get England talking about this it is the

:21:46.:21:52.

way to get it more on the agenda. And we do get Wales parity with the

:21:52.:22:00.

Scottish Parliament? If the people of Wales are interested in doing

:22:00.:22:10.
:22:10.:22:10.

that it is almost an unanswerable case. I think I US style or German

:22:10.:22:16.

style federalism would not work in Britain. Another structure might.

:22:16.:22:26.
:22:26.:22:26.

There will not be a neat solution to it. There is a halfway house.

:22:27.:22:31.

Keller point is that some form of federalism is also the logical

:22:31.:22:38.

conclusion of the SNP and Plaid Cymru vision of what independence

:22:38.:22:44.

means no with services sheared and sovereignty ruled. True independents

:22:44.:22:48.

such as that envisaged by 19th-century Nationalists will

:22:48.:22:55.

longer exist. Only federalism can deal with the complex nuances of the

:22:55.:23:01.

current debate. England might not want to be broken up into smaller

:23:01.:23:10.

units. Vested interests in the house of lords might block reform. For

:23:10.:23:16.

Unionists they badly need a constitutional vision for the whole

:23:16.:23:21.

UK and federal home rule first visit more than a century ago is in need

:23:21.:23:31.
:23:31.:23:35.

of a comprehensive the boot. With me now is the Labour key and the cheer

:23:35.:23:45.
:23:45.:23:46.

of Plaid Cymru. What is federalism mean? What is your definition?

:23:46.:23:50.

need to look at where we are now. We cannot just start with a blank sheet

:23:51.:23:55.

because that is not what we have got. I think April in Wales have

:23:55.:23:59.

there own views about how they think things should be done here. --

:23:59.:24:07.

people in Wales. Other countries have federalism models were you

:24:07.:24:13.

having the same powers devolved for every single state. That is not

:24:13.:24:20.

necessarily where we are starting from, it is quite the opposite.

:24:20.:24:25.

England would be such a large power within any federation that it simply

:24:25.:24:32.

would not work. You cannot have a federation unless you having that

:24:32.:24:36.

they the same things dealt with by the Federated parts and exactly the

:24:36.:24:40.

same things dealt with at the centre. The allowed issues we will

:24:40.:24:45.

have to look at in the next few years as this moves forward,

:24:45.:24:49.

particularly in the context of the referendum in Scotland and which

:24:50.:24:55.

ever way that goes will change these islands forever. It cannot be right

:24:55.:25:01.

for Welsh and Scottish MPs to carry on legislating on issues in

:25:01.:25:11.
:25:11.:25:14.

England. There could be in altering of the balance in the UK, what then

:25:14.:25:18.

happens to the notion of Wales and this structure? Does it just get

:25:18.:25:21.

altered on even more to England or would you like to see something else

:25:21.:25:28.

in those circumstances? One of the things that will arise as the

:25:28.:25:33.

situation of England as well. Whether in or out it is always an

:25:33.:25:38.

imbalance with England because it is the larger part. People are asking

:25:38.:25:41.

are there some forms of devolution that we the appropriate in England

:25:41.:25:48.

as well? We have seen an attempt in the north-east a few years ago which

:25:48.:25:51.

fail on its face because people did not want additional layer is of

:25:51.:25:58.

government. There is no appetite for that now. If you look at how London

:25:58.:26:01.

has urged perhaps there could be an affinity with something like a

:26:01.:26:06.

citystate. Perhaps there is an affinity with wanting services

:26:06.:26:12.

delivered more locally and in different ways. The federal pattern

:26:12.:26:18.

or the independent future, I was intrigued to see your colleagues the

:26:18.:26:23.

other day seeing independence in your view had never been a project

:26:23.:26:33.
:26:33.:26:35.

anyway. His perspectives are always interesting on these things. He was

:26:35.:26:44.

seeing it is the federal pattern. For me, a federal model leaves the

:26:44.:26:48.

voice of Wales in the hands of a federal UK which basically means

:26:48.:26:53.

that boys will always be the voice of England and not Wales. In

:26:53.:26:57.

negotiations with the European Union things have happened that were good

:26:57.:27:01.

for the English economy over the years but not so good for Wales. The

:27:01.:27:05.

key part will be what it will deliver for people. We have one of

:27:06.:27:13.

the worst economies after 700 years of being part of this nation state.

:27:13.:27:17.

People are poor and suffering, we need to negotiate directly with our

:27:17.:27:22.

European neighbours and that is the problem for me and my party with

:27:23.:27:29.

federalism. And what is your punch right now? What are your colleagues

:27:29.:27:35.

telling you in Scotland? He lives a year to go and lots can change.

:27:35.:27:38.

People are asking how it will affect them economically. People are

:27:39.:27:44.

worried about Scotland going independent and possibly leaving is

:27:44.:27:52.

their link. They are worried about what will happen at the end of the

:27:52.:27:58.

day when people go into the ballot box. The money that will go into the

:27:58.:28:08.
:28:08.:28:09.

pocket is what influences how the will vote. The problem for the no

:28:09.:28:14.

campaign in Scotland is that it is all negative, it is all about fear

:28:14.:28:22.

and what might go wrong. The yes campaign about the positive. I think

:28:22.:28:26.

it is everything to play for. Our colleagues in the SNP are very

:28:26.:28:30.

confident. You do not get politicians like Alex Salmond

:28:30.:28:34.

putting forward referendums that they think they are going to lose.

:28:34.:28:38.

My concern is how do we make sure the voice of Wales does not get

:28:38.:28:46.

lost. There is a big job for journalists and the media to make

:28:46.:28:52.

sure that does not happen. That is it for this week. Next we'll will be

:28:52.:28:59.

in the Senned in Cardiff B. In two weeks time I will be talking to the

:28:59.:29:02.

A look at the tough times ahead for local authorities in Wales facing funding cuts. Plus, the changing face of the UK - a look ahead to the independence referendum in Scotland. Presented by Huw Edwards.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS