Today, the Welsh Assembly Government announced its Welsh local government settlement for 2010/11. Each one of Wales' local councils now know how much central government support will be available to them next year. For the third year in a row, Powys has been given the lowest settlement of all Welsh Councils. What on earth has Powys County Council done to treated like this. I know that Powys is a rural county, and that there's plenty of space to grow our own vegetables - but this smacks of vindictiveness.
Now I'm not going to criticise the Assembly Government for a low overall settlement - even though I expect plenty of others to do so. Last week, George Osborne injected a strong dose of realism into the public expenditure debate. I applauded the direction and tone of his message. I can't have it both ways. But I can, and do, criticise the discrimination against Powys. Its brutal and unfair and urban-cenric, and undermines public services in my part of Wales. And do you know what else the Minister's told Powys Councillors. He's told them he expects them to stick Council Tax up - and not offer the sympathetic approach to taxpayers that they did last year. Can you believe it?
The big questions now are going to be where the Council finds the money. Cuts are clearly on the horizon. I was asked by one of Mid Wales leading journalists today where I thought the axe would fall. I said small schools and leisure centres. Almost cried as saying speaking the words. There will also be sales of buildings and assets like the Leighton Farm Estate. I don't disagree with this. Whatever, while we have an Assembly Government that is intent to carry on impoverishing Powys, our Councillors are going to have very tough decisions to take.