Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion and Deputy Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has welcomed the success by his Assembly colleagues in mitigating Welsh Labour Government cuts to universities and rural councils.
The Welsh Labour Government had planned unfair cuts to rural communities and severe cuts to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) in their 2016-17 Draft Budget.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats made clear their opposition to the cuts and met with the Finance Minister to agree on a deal which would see the Welsh Government budget pass while ensuring a fairer funding deal for universities and rural communities. This will see Ceredigion receive an extra £439,000 of funding, and an increase of £21.1 million to the HEFCW grant, with an additional £10 million for part-time studies and scientific research.
Mark said “I am delighted that my Assembly colleagues were able to succeed in ensuring universities and rural communities were protected from unfair and harmful cuts.
“Aberystwyth University is not only essential to Ceredigion, but also to Wales as a whole, and the cuts that were proposed would have hit the university hard, with part-time studies being cut in their entirety.
“Rather than complaining from the side-lines like Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives, the Welsh Liberal Democrats punched well above their weight in ensuring Ceredigion and its universities received a fairer funding deal from the Welsh Government budget.”