An additional £25m has been made available to local authorities in 2024-25 to support the social care workforce, schools and to help councils respond to other pressures in their local communities.

It was revealed this month that Local Authorities across Wales are currently more than £5 billion in debt according to a report released by the Public Accounts Committee.

Local Authorities are already struggling to provide many day-to-day services due to poor funding, with Pembrokeshire County Council £192,064,000 in debt; and Camarthenshire £402,424,000.

Responding to news that Welsh Government will pass £25 million of UK Government funding to Welsh councils, Sam Rowlands MS, Shadow Minister for Local Government, said: “I’m pleased that the Welsh Government has listened to Welsh Conservative calls to pass additional council funding on to hard-press local authorities.

“Councils in Wales are struggling to make ends meet because of the Welsh Government’s stale funding formula, so it was imperative that new cash announced by the UK Government found its way in to local authority budgets.

“The Welsh Government must now ensure this funding is distributed fairly to meet pressures in different Welsh councils.”

Gareth Davies MS, Shadow Minister for Social Services, said: “After a rough deal from Labour’s local government funding settlement, councils in Wales will welcome this additional cash from the UK Government for social services.”

On the announcement, Rebecca Evans MS, Minister for Finance and Local Government: “I am today announcing an additional £25m for local authorities in 2024-25 to support the social care workforce, schools and to help councils respond to other pressures in their local communities.

“The extra funding will form part of the Welsh Government’s Final Budget proposals, which will be published on February 27, reflecting our commitment to target investment towards the public services we value the most.

“On 24 January, the UK Government announced it would be increasing its local government settlement by £600m in England, largely to respond to pressures in social care.

“I have been advised this should result in a consequential allocation of around £25m for Wales in 2024-25.

“This, together with any other changes to our settlement, will only be confirmed at the UK Government’s Spring Budget on 6 March alongside any other positive and/or negative movements to our budget.

“Local authorities and Senedd members have raised the difficult decisions local authorities are facing next year in this extraordinary harsh financial climate, even with the 3.1% uplift to the revenue support grant we have provided for 2024-25 in the Draft Budget.

“To provide local authorities with as much financial stability as possible in these hard times – as early as possible – I am today confirming an additional £25m will be allocated to local government in the 2024-25 Final Budget.

“Part of this funding will be used to restore the social care workforce grant to £45m in 2024-25.

“The remaining £14.4m will be allocated to the revenue support grant as part of the settlement to support pressures in both social care and education, including teachers’ pay. 

“This supports one of the key principles we had in setting the draft budget – to protect core public services as far as possible.

“The funding floor, which I put in place for 2024-25, remains. This increased funding now means that no individual authority has an increase lower than 2.3%”