In response to comments by the Cabinet Secretary Alun Davies AM, Councillor Rob Stewart (Swansea). WLGA Deputy Leader said:
“The remarks from the Cabinet Secretary are deeply unfortunate and inappropriate particularly bearing in mind that he is supposed to be the ‘voice’ of local government around the Welsh Government Cabinet table. Last week he spoke to BBC Wales and recognised that as a result of the Welsh Government Draft budget "People are going to find local services diminishing as a consequence of the austerity ….and that is going to have consequences in communities up and down Wales." This week, he is belittling those who are arguing for proper levels of funding to support those treasured services such as education, social care, housing and transport for the most vulnerable communities across Wales.
“We call on the First Minister to distance himself from the comments of the Cabinet Secretary and consider whether or not it is appropriate for him to remain in the Cabinet in his current position. The Cabinet Secretary’s reference to Oliver Twist reflects a lack of understanding of both English literature and local government. Is he seriously characterising himself as the ‘Mr Bumble’ of Welsh Government the cruel overseer of the poorhouse? We make no apologies for asking for more resources from Welsh Government to save those services provided by hardworking teachers, youth workers, librarians and care workers that protect the communities of Wales.”