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Written - Icelandic Banks

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Brian Gibbons, Minister for Social Justice and Local Government and Andrew Davies, Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery.
The Assembly Government is fully supporting the United Kingdom in its efforts to get the Icelandic Government to release the assets of English and Welsh local authorities and police authorities frozen in Icelandic banks, and to meet any financial losses caused by the collapse of the banks.

Discussions are taking place in Iceland today. The Assembly Government First Minister is today writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer setting out the position in Wales and the concerns of Welsh local authorities. The Assembly Government will also be fully engaged in ongoing inter-departmental discussions on taking the issue forward.

We have discussed the position with Welsh Local Government Association Leaders at the WLGA’s annual conference in Llandudno and they have also confirmed that they will be working with the WLGA in its efforts to secure the position of Welsh authorities. Assembly Government officials are actively monitoring the position with those Welsh authorities affected.

In discussions with local authorities it is clear that whilst the sums are large they have to be considered in the context of the overall amounts of cash available to local authorities; the situation looks very unlikely to impact upon the provision of local authority services or have council tax implications at this stage.

If an individual authority was likely to experience short term difficulties, it should contact the Assembly Government.