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HAGUE WILL TALK CASH WITH WELSH

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Leaders of the 22 Welsh councils will present their case for more money to Welsh secretary William Hague next week ...
Leaders of the 22 Welsh councils will present their case for more money to Welsh secretary William Hague next week after months of delay due to a breakdown in relations with the Welsh Office.

Councillors are expected to push for a fundamental review of the distribution formula, plus a continuation of this year's damping mechanism to protect councils hit hardest in the transition to unitary status.

They will also highlight the effects of a 1996-97 settlement which fell £300 million short of their spending bid.

The meeting with Mr Hague, made possible after he met Welsh Local Government Association representatives last week and the WLGA called off its boycott of the Welsh Office, allows work to start on next year's financial settlement.

WLGA assistant secretary Paul Griffiths said members also wanted detailed discussions with Mr Hague on the government's proposals for toughening up the CCT regime.

English LGA representatives are due to meet environment secretary John Gummer to discuss this next week.

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