Welsh Labour Government Finance Minister Mark Drakeford is a former probation officer and was a professor of Social Policy in Cardiff University

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is to have its funding reduced by the Welsh Labour Government by 0.4%  for the 2018/2019 financial year.

Former probation officer and now Finance Minister Mark Drakeford is applying similar cuts to most other local authorities in Wales except for Bridgend and Labour-run Cardiff – which will have its annual funding increased by 0.2%.

Whilst the Vale Council’s funding is being cut,  the Welsh Labour Government’s political allies in Cardiff Council are being given an increase of 0.2% in funding  – increasing Cardiff Council’s funding to  £437,867,000.

The Labour-run Cardiff Council plans to spend millions of taxpayer’s cash on building what’s been described a  “totally unnecessary” Cardiff Arena – forecast to cost at least £150,000,000 – whilst councils around Wales struggle to make ends meet

[ PDN Note: Cardiff Council is now coming under fire for its plans to built a new £150,000,000 taxpayer-funded Cardiff Arena seating 15,000 people. The Arena project – condemned by critics as being “totally unnecessary”   – was included in Labour’s election manifestos in Cardiff as a  pre-election bribe to induce Cardiff voters to support Labour candidates .  As the cost of the project will have to met from public funds and ALL taxpayers across Wales, the Cardiff Arena project is now being promoted as a facility intended for whole of Wales – an argument unlikely to impress local authorities outside the capital .]

Drakeford  – who nearly lost his safe Cardiff West in the 2016 elections and narrowly squeezed in by a  nail-biting 1176 votes –   has now also warned other Welsh councils that he intends to impose another  cut of 1.5% in their funding in financial year 2019/20.

The figures released yesterday  do not include any allowance for inflation – which is currently running at 2.7% – meaning that real reductions for councils will be even more severe. Drakeford claims he has  “tried to protect councils” and blames the cuts – and pretty much everything else – on the UK Government.

The Welsh Labour Government has allocated £62,000,000,in 2018-19 for schools and £42,000,000 for social services in 2018-19. Drakeford claims this is an “increase” in funding. However experts point out this is not extra money from outside the local government budget and will still mean a cut in real terms.

Drakeford said “Last year I told local authorities to prepare for the tougher times and harder choices that lay ahead as the flawed and failed policy of austerity continues to hit Wales hard. My priority, using a formula we have agreed with local government, is to try and protect councils from the worst of the cuts passed on to us by the UK Government.”

Drakeford  went on to say “If the Chancellor of the Exchequer follows our advice and does not proceed with cuts in the Autumn Budget then my first priority will be to look again at the cuts we have been forced to make in 2019-20. Next year’s settlement might be difficult. We have done all we can to make it manageable.”

Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association – Debbie Wilcox  – has said austerity is “wearing down and eroding public services”‘. She wants to see social services and education treated on a par with the NHS in Wales. Meanwhile the public services trade union UNISON has warned that “thousands of jobs will be lost” .

The local authority funding allocations in Wales from April 2018 are as follows:-

Isle of Anglesey – £94,923,000 (-0.1%)
Gwynedd – £173,859,000 (-0.1%)
Conwy – £152,405,000 (-1.0%)
Denbighshire – £142,144,000 (-0.9%)
Flintshire – £187,816,ooo (-0.9%)
Wrexham – £173,485,000 (-0.3%)
Powys – £172,500,000 (-1.0%)
Ceredigion – £99,905,000 (-0.3%)
Pembrokeshire – £160,084,000 (-0.4%)
Carmarthenshire – £257,960,000 (-0.5%)
Swansea – £316,499,000 (-0.1%)
Neath Port Talbot – £210,832,000 (-0.4%)
Bridgend – £190,718,000 (+ 0.6%)
The Vale of Glamorgan – £151,996,000 (-0.4%)
Rhondda Cynon Taf – £362,219,000 (-0.2%)
Merthyr Tydfil – £89,656,000 (-1.0%)
Caerphilly – £265,493,000 (-1.0%)
Blaenau Gwent – £108,871,000 (-1.0%)
Torfaen – £130,800,000 (-0.8%)
Monmouthshire – £92,761,000 (-1.0%)
Newport – £211,682,000 (-0.3%)
Cardiff – £437,867,000 (+0.2%)

A much younger Mark Drakeford (left) with the late former First Minister for Wales Rhodri Morgan in the early 1990s

MARK DRAKEFORD:  Drakeford is the son of the deputy headmaster of a primary school in West Wales . After passing the 11 Plus scholarship he attended the selective Carmarthen Boy’s Grammar School – a privilege which he and his brand of  hard-left politics would deny to any 11 year-old today.

As a youth he canvassed for Labour candidate Gwynoro Jones in the Carmarthen constituency. Jones beat Gwynfor Evans of Plaid Cymru by just 3 votes in the 1974 General Election.

Early in his career Drakeford is reported to have worked for Dyfed County Council as a social worker and moved to Cardiff in 1979 to take up a job as a probation officer in Ely . He was also a “youth justice worker”  and  worked for –  or with –  the children’s charity –  Barnados –  in Ely, Cardiff.

In 1985 he was selected by Labour for a councillor’s seat representing the Pontcanna Ward of Cardiff on the old (and now defunct) South Glamorgan County C0uncil and remained on the council for 8 years until it was dissolved in 1996.

Drakeford found himself out of a council seat and got a job in Cardiff University lecturing in Social Policy.

In 1999 Drakeford tried to get himself elected into the Welsh Assembly – but failed. However in that same election Rhodri Morgan – then Labour MP for Cardiff West – was elected as Assembly Member for Cardiff West – [a dual role which is now banned]

In 2000 Drakeford was offered a job with Rhodri Morgan    to work as an adviser on health and social policy in Morgan’s political office . That same year  Morgan succeeded Alun Michael as First Minister of the Welsh Assembly and resigned as a Westminster  MP in June 2001 to concentrate on the Welsh Assembly.

When Morgan stood down as an AM in May 2011, the Cardiff Labour machine selected Drakeford to succeed him in the Cardiff West vonstituency as a shoo-in .

The following month Drakeford was appointed as chairman of the Welsh Labour Government’s Health and Social Care Committee and also chair of the Monitoring Committee for European funds.  He was appointed Minister for Health and Social Services in March 2013 – in charge of the NHS in Wales

After the Assembly elections of May 2016 he was appointed as the Welsh Labour Government’s Finance and Local Government Minister .

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  1. Philip Rapier says:

    On March 2 2017 Penarth Daily News reported that the appallingly inefficient, self serving Vale of Glamorgan Council had put it’s grubby hands in to the purses and wallets of Penarth Council Tax Payers yet again.
    Are PDN seriously suggesting that this self perpetuating, bullying, vanity project addicted Vale Council should have more of my cash to pour down the drain.
    The same Vale Council that robbed us of the opportunity to join with a proposed, highly prosperous, progressive Cardiff Metropolitan Council should be rewarded by being given more of our ” Income Taxes” as well?
    Thank you Mark Drakeford alt least someone is doing the job right
    What PDN said on 2 March 17
    “The increases mean that council-tax-payers in Penarth and across the Vale of Glamorgan – will be facing their highest-ever Council Tax bills – despite the fact that the wages, salaries and pensions of most people in the Vale have barely risen at all.”.

  2. Ashley says:

    ‘Former probation officer and now Finance Minister’

  3. Kevin Mahoney says:

    Meanwhile whilst bemoaning cuts in funding from Westminster Mr Drakeford’s Labour party as well as the Conservatives, Lib Dems and plaid cymru are all most insistent that us taxpayers continue borrowing £billions more annually to hand over £13bn a year ( plus another £10bn or so net to EU countries) to citizens and governments in other countries to spend on their services, including Health, Education and Social Services all of which we are failing to adequately fund in this country.

    Well done, you must all be very proud of yourselves.

  4. Frank Evans says:

    Amazing. Probation officer to Wales finance minister!
    All done by being a friend of Welsh “jobs for the boyos” Labour.
    With talent like this we’re sure to be punching above our weight.

  5. Penileaks says:

    It doesn’t really matter what the cut might have been, or indeed any increase, if that had been the case, our council tax bills would and will increase by just under the maximum that the VoG council are allowed to impose. Then we can be sure that the hard done by and underfunded Police Commissioner will also plead poverty and his budget will also be increased by the maximum and we can all look forward to an overall 5+% increase as usual. This 0.4% cut by the Welsh Government will just help them justify the increase.

  6. john64 says:

    Quotes from March 2017? Wasn’t that just before the last local elections when Labour were running the Vale? “The appallingly inefficient, self serving Vale of Glamorgan Council had put it’s grubby hands in to the purses and wallets of Penarth Council Tax Payers yet again.” That’s why they lost control!

  7. whatsoccurn says:

    Worked for many years at Penhill,The Rise (Council building now up for auction)-Mark worked for Probation then and came in for Youth Justice meetings with Keith Towler (later to become Children’s Commissioner) Derek Brushett (Head of Bryn-y-don School) Phil Kirkham (husband of TV Presenter,Gail Foley and recently involved with Vale Community Radio) and others Mark is an amiable man but not sure of his financial background.

  8. Frank Evans says:

    5% council tax rise again. Plus all the precepts will up by 5% oh and they will do another all Wales valuation excessive to get everyone up to band I.
    Maybe even create more bands. With Labour in power if you’ve got money your screwed.

  9. Penileaks says:

    Best of a rotten bunch perhaps ?

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