Powys Sports Budget Cut: Making A Difference
Unfortunately, the Welsh Government has made substantial budget cuts to our local authority county budgets across Wales *again* for 2019/2020.
For Powys County Council, the largest county in Wales, this meant millions of pounds worth of cuts needed to be made for the upcoming year.
However, PCC proposed an 80% (!!!!) reduction in sports funding in Powys, a reduction of £108,000. That's 4 sports development officers, tournaments, facilities, gone.
Which is quite frankly, ridiculous, and that's why I campaigned for change before the final budget meeting. Read what happened in this brief timeline of events:
1. Feb 15th - Awareness
Powys County Council announce 80% proposed cuts to the Powys Sports budget - which may I add, is only a tiny percent of the overall budget anyway. I wanted more people, across Wales, to know what was happening in our locality, and was pleased to see a response from so many people!
2. Feb 20th - Plea
With the council looking to finalise the budget imminently, I decided to write to local MP's and members of Council to highlight the negative impact their decision would have on the people of Powys and ask for a reduction in the percentage of cuts.
3. Feb 21st - Council Budget Meeting
It went back and forth, but the council couldn't agree on the budget and the deadline to decide was extended, meaning more time to rally for support!
4. March 7th - Success & A Final Budget
The budget was approved with amendments! Powys County Council agreed to reduce the amount the sports budget would be cut down to £50,000 rather than £108,000; saving £58K, over half of the original proposed cut, meaning a 40% overall reduction in Powys Sports Budget.
Obviously no cuts is what we all wish for, but when that's not possible, you have to celebrate smaller victories!
The reality is that Powys spends 35% of it's entire budget on roads every year. We have more miles of roads in our county than in any other in Wales (15.8% of all roads, actually). Yet, the way the Welsh Assembly Government distribute county funding, doesn't represent the area of land but the number of people it has, which is dysfunctional for rural counties such as Powys and Ceredigion. Powys councillors have pleaded with Welsh Government to review and reform the distribution structure, and I support them on this matter - but as it stands there is no word of change.
My final point, is that as individuals we often see decisions made on our behalf that we disagree with or didn't have a say on and feel as though we cannot make a difference. I would like to remind everyone that, regardless of your age, your job or even the amount of followers you have, you can make a difference. Write to your MP, start a blog, make a petition.
That's all from me,