Rural mid Wales is idyllic, but it doesn’t come without its own unique challenges.
The struggle farmers face is now getting much greater recognition, writes cllr Aled Davies.

Big challenges are also changing face of local services, difficult decisions lie ahead, but it’s sad, that many of the ‘challenges’ we face are as a result of policy decisions taken by our own Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff.

Setting a budget for the Council is never easy, there are so many competing priorities, it’s even harder for the current Powys Council Cabinet following all their pre-election actions and promises.

Council tax paid by Powys residents in the next year will smash the £100 million ceiling. This amounts to 31% of Council spend, which is in sharp contrast to richer Labour Authorities in south Wales where Council tax only contributes 20% to their net spend, the balance comes from Welsh Labour government.


The funding formula for councils is broken but the Welsh Government refuse to fix it.

The Liberal Democrat/Labour Cabinet have proposed a 7.5% Council Tax increase, that’s almost a 13% increase in the 2 years since they came to power.

As residents see Council Tax going up sharply, they will experience a 25% cut in the roads capital spend, swimming lessons cut, ditching budget cut and new charges introduced for Blue Badge holders, post-16 school travel, the list goes on and they are putting schools in an impossible position.

We have seen little that is positive in school’s transformation from this Cabinet, just closures and delayed investment.

I was criticised by the Lib Dems for my ‘slash and burn’ comments when it came to education, the reality is now clear, I was right.

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Schools spent almost £90million through their delegated budget in the 2023/24 financial year. This coming year they will only have £87.4 million to spend, an actual cut in cash terms and to make matters worse, the increase in teacher cost and other inflationary costs are yet to be accounted for.

Education budgets have been slashed in real terms, and what reserves schools had, have been burnt. Our schools budgets are in trouble.

Politicians should know, there is no easy route to popularity. Popularity is only a side product of sound long term decision making. People want honesty about the challenges ahead.

There are no shortcuts and especially not ahead of elections.

The Powys Liberal Democrats should acknowledge and apologise for the broken promises on school closures and Council Tax.