The leader of Plaid Cymru on Powys County Council says the continued pressure on the Powys budget shows the Welsh assembly government "doesn't understand rural Wales".

Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, who represents Glantwymyn at County Hall, was responding to a pre-budget announcement from Conservative councillor Aled Davies which stated that council tax for Powys properties was likely to rise by 9.5%.

"Unfortunately, this is a result of a Westminster austerity agenda and a Labour - Lib Dem Welsh Government that doesn't understand rural Wales," he said.

"Welsh Government hadn’t taken the opportunity to alleviate significant concerns of Local Authorities, and that Government had taken the wrong decisions with its budget choices."

The core grant for local government has been reduced by 22 per cent since 2010, with the Welsh Local Government Association outlining that local services in Wales have lost more than £1 billion since the onset of the cuts, with councils having exhausted all possible options for efficiency savings.

"We agree that we need to point the finger at the Conservative Government in Westminster, and what has been done by their policy of austerity," he added.

"But the Labour Welsh Government chose not to make the investment in local government when they had the opportunity to do so with this budget. They cannot avoid the blame for not taking that alternative decision that failed to give that support to our councils.

"Health has seen an increase of £0.5 billion since the first supplementary budget, but the health service can't work in a vacuum.

"We need a well-funded local government that can give the right support to social services in order to ensure that the health service is able to operate in a sustainable fashion, and that is not the situation that we have today."