CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’S EDUCATION BUDGET FAILS TO MAKE THE GRADE

Carmarthenshire’s Labour MP, AMs and Councillors are united in seeking to defend education provision in the County and are jointly calling on the Plaid lead Carmarthenshire County Council to reverse its proposed £1.9m cut to the education budget.

“The proposed cut in the education budget is a disgrace” said Llanelli MP and shadow Defence Secretary Na Griffith, who added, “the Welsh Assembly has protected the money available to Carmarthenshire for its education budget and yet the current administration is planning this cut to the education budget, a cut that will damage children’s education across the County”.

Adding her voice to the outcry against the proposed cut, Regional AM Joyce Watson said: “not only has the County’s budget been protected by Welsh Government giving it one of the best local government settlements in Wales, but it also benefits from the Welsh Government’s £90m Pupil Deprivation Grant (PDG). Through PDG, for each child age 5 to 15 who is eligible for free school meals, and for Looked After Children, schools receive £1,150. In 2015 PDG was extended to under 5’s – £300 per child is available to Foundation Phase providers.”

Joyce added: “Once again here in Carmarthenshire, we see Labour protecting the future of our children, and Plaid jeopardising it by these cuts”.

Leader of the Labour Group on the Carmarthenshire County Council and Councillor for the Bigyn ward, Councillor Jeff Edmunds was also deeply critical of the proposed cut, commenting. “I am a governor of two local schools, which lost staff last year in the devastating £3.5m cut in the education budget last year, and I have seen at first hand the impact on education provision and staff morale.

As leader of the Labour Group I travel around the County and staff and governors have been warning me that these further cuts will damage our pupil’s attainment, especially in GCSEs and A’ Levels and that this will impact particularly severely on those from poorer areas and with Additional Learning Needs, who most need our support.”

Jeff added: “In power in Carmarthenshire, the Labour Party protected the education budget, because we recognise the importance of education for our children’s future wellbeing, they are this county’s future and we owe them a duty to provide the best possible education, a duty we fulfilled when Labour was in control of the county.”

Nia Griffith concluded the condemnation of the proposed education budget cut, by saying: “This proposed cut to the education budget is a shameful political decision, not a financial necessity and should be reversed.”

Above photograph of Nia Griffith MP and Cllr. Jeff Edmunds leader of the Labour Group of Carmarthenshire County Council

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