Neath Port Talbot's public services could be severely affected if Brexit goes ahead. The loss of EU funding could leave Coleg Gwent unable to provide their current high standard of education for local people. You can help stop this disaster.
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Dear The Editor,
Government cuts to Wales have meant that Neath Port Talbot County Council has had to make £72m worth of cuts since 2010. On top of this, the council has been forced from this April to increase cemetery burial fees, push up council tax by four per cent and previously warned that further cuts might force it to cut teacher jobs.
We don't want more cuts
More austerity is coming to our area despite this and the council is going to have to make a further £64m in cuts between now and 2022 even though the prime minister promised an end to austerity. The local UNISON Branch Chair said: “Budgets are now being cut so deeply that provision of quality services is being put at risk… our council services are at breaking point.” If that wasn’t bad enough, Neath Port Talbot Council will also lose EU money if Brexit goes ahead. This could be the final nail in the coffin for our local services.
Neath Port Talbot helped by EU
Neath Port Talbot County Council received 23 million in EU funds from 2015 - 2017, including 3.5 million to create a new business hub in Port Talbot’s former docks. West Wales and the Valleys also currently receives one of the largest amounts of EU regional finances and if Brexit isn’t stopped it will lose this post 2020. The Government has said it will replace these EU regional funds with a UK version post 2020, but still hasn’t committed to matching them at the same level.
Nobody voted for more cuts to local services in the West of Wales. We need more to be spent on our public services, but by the Government’s own analysis any kind of Brexit will leave us poorer. It would mean less money for our hospitals and schools. Politicians have failed to deliver a Brexit that works and Theresa May’s Brexit deal isn’t good for anyone. We say the people should decide the way forward in a public vote. We urge our MP, Stephen Kinnock, to back this.