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Cash-strapped council leader attacks NHS spending

Cash-strapped council leader attacks NHS spending
From BBC - October 8, 2017

The NHS in Wales cannot overspend while councils face continual cuts, the leader of one authority has warned.

Wrexham council's Mark Pritchard said there needed to be an "adult conversation" about the way councils and the NHS were funded.

He also said that cuts in local services would lead to more pressures on the health service across Wales.

Councils will learn on Tuesday how much cash they are to get next year from the Welsh Government.

But the leader of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) has already predicted that local authorities in Wales will have to raise council tax by 5% across the board.

Debbie Wilcox has also called for NHS reforms to cut costs.

It followed a review by the Wales Governance Centre and Wales Public Services 2025 that said about 56p in every pound spent by the Welsh Government on public services could go to the NHS within four years.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme, the Wrexham leader said he fully supported the health service in Wales - but the issue of overspending had to be addressed.

"The health service for me has to be managed better financially," said Mr Pritchard, an independent councillor.

"Because, if you are just taking off one service and giving its money to the other, it has an impact.

"Not only that, we have to work in partnership with the health service, we really do, because we have a lot to offer.

"I just think sometimes they do not listen, they work in isolation, and that's not good for anybody."

Mr Pritchard said his own council must now talk about which services it will have to cut.

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