FORMER VALE CHAIRMAN CONDEMNS “HORRENDOUS” LABOUR COUNCIL-TAX HIKES

Left Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cardoc Ward) - current leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and (right) Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) a former Vale of Glamorgan chairman - at odds over Labour's latest council tax increase

Left Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry) – current leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and (right) Penarth Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) a former Vale of Glamorgan chairman – are at odds over Labour’s latest 3.9% Council Tax increase

A former chairman of the Vale of Glamorgan Council has condemned the consecutive series of  Council Tax increases  imposed by the current  Labour administration as “horrendous” .

Penarth  Town Councillor  Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)  was chairman of the Vale of Glamorgan County Borough Council  from 2000 to 2001 and has twice been Mayor of Penarth. The Labour-run Vale Council is due to confirm another 3.9% Council Tax increase – the latest in a string of above-inflation hikes – at its full meeting next month.

Cllr Ernest describes the four successive council tax increases imposed by the Labour administration as  “horrendous” . He says that the total of the increases imposed between 2013 and 2016 comes to an astounding 18.9% – not including the South Wales Police Precept [which has also increased every year since 2013] .

Cllr Ernest says “If one thinks that in England, where the Conservative Government has made substantial sums available to keep Council Tax increases at zero or a minimal figure, but that in Wales these hefty rises have hit residents in their pockets when Wales pays the lowest wages in the United Kingdom, it is obvious that the Labour Party and their friends do not want to look after the very people they claim to represent.”

Vale Council Tax was also increased by 3.9% last year

Vale Council Tax was also increased by 3.9%  last year (2015), by 4.5% in 2014, and by 4.8% in 2013

Cllr Ernest says says that in the Vale of Glamorgan a ‘Band D’ property has seen a “swingeing increase between 2012 and 2016 from £940 to £1,111 . He says “ If you apply the equivalent yearly rise to many of the houses in Penarth in higher bandings, then that figure shoots up to over £2,000 a year, by the time the other precepts are added on” .

Cllr. Ernest says Penarth residents “should be asking their Labour Vale councillors just how they could justify making their residents so much poorer, when across the border in England most householders have been shielded from Council Tax annual rises.” He says  “I do not think that ratepayers will get a straightforward answer to that question”.

The latest Vale of Glamorgan  council tax rise has already been condemned by Penarth Conservative AM Andrew R T Davies .

The full Vale of Glamorgan Council is due to rubber-stamp the 3.9% Council Tax increase on 2 March, 2016.

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14 Responses to FORMER VALE CHAIRMAN CONDEMNS “HORRENDOUS” LABOUR COUNCIL-TAX HIKES

  1. Peter Church says:

    What annoys me is the 3.9% increase does not even add to the UK’s official rate of inflation; CPI, as this negates all housing costs including Council Tax!
    The ONS do not even publish RPI anymore, you have to ring them up for it. Even though everything from student loans repayments, government duty increases, rail fares, bond rates, mobile phone tariff increases are all still based on good ‘ole RPI
    The words “sold a pup” come to mind.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      My personal view of the Vale of Glamorgan Council as an instrument of Local Governance is that it well past its sell by date and the demise of this somewhat tired innately inefficient Local Authority cannot come soon enough for me.
      However let’s take a look at its nearest geographically comparable English Neighbour “Conservative” controlled North Somerset. The Weston and West Somerset Mercury wrote on 23 Feb 16 “The council agreed to a 3.74 per cent tax rise making the average band D council tax bill £1,208.40 next year – an increase of £44 a year.With increases from the police, fire services and parish councils, the total bill for a band D house will rise from £1,458 to £1,510 next year.”…………….the article goes on …………
      “Council leader Nigel Ashton said: “Having to put up council tax in order to achieve a balanced budget is very much a last resort, but it is a road we have been forced down.”
      Councillor Ashton goes on to say…………………”Government pressure means council tax is likely to rise every year for the next four years in line with Westminster strategy.”
      As a commentator put it on the Mercury blog “A Conservative council blaming a Conservative government. That’s a new one! ”
      Why has your Council Tax gone up? Ask ” Dave ” or perhaps the famous Council cuts protestor the highly respected Mrs. Cameron Senior.
      Please note the slightly higher Vale rate is due to favourable treatment to Conservative Councils by the Westminster Government.

    • Tim Hughes says:

      You are wrong Peter, RPI still exists and is still published by the ONS. Although LA pensions do not follow it anymore it is used for other purposes, eg Feed in Tariff, and should continue for another 25 years.
      http://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/consumerpriceinflation/january2016#retail-prices-index-rpi-and-rpij

  2. Dave says:

    Another increase in council tax but local services constantly being reduced. I cannot get my head around this!

    Especially having heard that the council is trying to offload public parks and playing fields to cut their expense! Soon we will kill off all grass root sports because clubs cannot afford to maintain pitches themselves. We will end up with even greater obesity figures putting greater strain on our NHS all the while the council is throwing money away on projects that are either pointless or end up being scrapped. Utter Joke.

  3. AK says:

    Got to pay those Local Government pensions somehow, and with a diminishing LG workforce there are fewer contributions propping it up.

  4. Margaret says:

    It is because the money from central government for local authorities has been cut repeatedly over recent years. If we want good services they have to be paid for and that means we have to accept that we, the council tax payers, will have to pay.

    • Vincent Pugliese says:

      So how is it being done in England? And what good services? Is there any town in Britain with worse road surfaces than Penarth? I have travelled a lot of the country and I haven’t seen any.

    • Willy Wonka says:

      You’re not falling for the central govt cuts as the reason. The reason is really un sustainable wages and salary on costs of our overpaid council workers.

  5. Christopher David says:

    Dave- its partly because the highly paid council mangers and some expense loading councillors are creaming off. What do we do about it? Nothing. Look at the salaries. The CE of VOG takes circa £127,000 + pensions and expenses all on his own. This is a £50k job. He’s just one. I’d also like to see how much is collectively taken out for employee pension pots. Just to see if they’re fair. Then you have the likes of Alan Michael building his highly paid empire- it was reported he was among 390 MPs required by Sir Thomas Legg to repay taxpayers’ money which allegedly they had wrongly-claimed. An audit of claims dating back to 2004 revealed that Michael should repay £18,889.56 for mortgage interest on additional loans “not shown to have been for an eligible purpose”. He had also been paid £280 more than he was entitled to claim for council tax in the year 2004/05 – claiming expenses for 12 instalments when, in fact he had only had to pay 10 to the local authority. Michael blamed a “clerical error” !! Council TAX claims! And he’s the police commissioner!! Are we mad.

  6. Chris Franks says:

    An additional factor is Labour’s Policy in the Assembly of switching funding support away from Councils. They know that councils can then increase the Council Tax. However it is interesting to note that that the Vale has over £60 million in savings squirreled away. Meanwhile Council Tax increases, roads deteriorate and schools are under funded. {Plaid proposed that education received an additional £4 million to boost investment in schools but Labour is not supportive.}

  7. Christopher David says:

    Chris why? What’s the point of having £60 mil in reserves? That money should, all but a disaster contingency fund be used for the community. As for the Assembly’s tactics- well they need a few bob for pay-offs and £10 million for their “gender awareness in the workplace” ridiculous programme- and others !!

  8. Phil Gibbs says:

    The Vale of Glamorgan need to wake up and smell the coffee, haven’t they heard of austerity? When you look at the average pay rises over the last 10 years they have all been well below inflation, some people have not received any increase in their pay for a number of years and yet this fat cat council ignore this and increase council tax yet again. In case you have forgotten Vale of Glamorgan your job is to support the community not bleed it dry?

  9. Ian Perry says:

    The £127k the chief exec receives is beyond… Now I wish I’d gone to the recent community cabinet meeting to challenge him over what he said at the previous meeting in Cowbridge. The findings of “research” he had conducted and talked about were so poor… A struggling undergraduate could have done a better job.

    Let’s remember that the council forecast ever increasing energy prices. This justified their expenditure on LED street lighting that has an extended warranty… Extended… of 10 years. The pay back period according to council figures is 13 years. As for “environmental” claims, and Cllr Rob Curtis questioning me after I’d questioned the viability of the LED lighting by asking “I thought you were an environmentalist?”, there are numerous reasons to believe that LED lighting is very bad for the environment – because the environment is not just about reducing CO2 from energy production…

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