The Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council – which has consistently hiked Council Tax by way above the level of inflation every year since it came to office in 2012 – is to impose yet another inflation-busting increase for 2017/18.
It means that yet again the council will force local residents to meet a percentage increase in Council Tax which is far greater than the annual percentage increase they’ve received in wages, salaries or pensions.
With local elections due to take place in May , this time the Vale Council daren’t risk inflicting a 4% or 5% increase in council tax on local households. Another rise of that size would be electoral suicide for Labour, so this time the increase in Council Tax is being pegged at 2.8%
That rise of 2.8% is still far higher that the rate of inflation in the UK – which is only 1.8%.
For ratepayers in Penarth, this year’s 2017/18 Council Tax Bill will include the following increases – all of which emanate from Labour-controlled budgets:-
- Vale of Glamorgan Council (Labour Control) Council Tax increase of 2.8%
- South Wales Police (Labour Police and Crime Commissioner) precept increase of 5%
- Penarth Town Council (Labour Control) precept increase of 4.97%
This is how the sums work out.
- The Vale of Glamorgan Council is proposing a budget of totalling £215,720,000 for 2017/18 .
- It will receive a Government “Revenue Support Grant” of £108, 578,000
- It will receive “redistributed non-domestic rates” of £40.976,000
- It therefore needs to extract £66,166,000 in Council Tax from just 57,920 households in the Vale of Glamorgan.
An internal council report says the Council Tax increase of 2.8% is a “reasonable compromise between the pressure on services and the financial pressures facing council taxpayers.”
To balance the books £700,000 is to be withdrawn from the Vale Council’s W”Council Fund Reserve.” That reserve stands at £8,572,000 but the report says “The use
of reserves for funding recurrent expenditure is clearly not sustainable”.
About 100 full-time jobs will be axed – although not in schools . The council says “The budget proposals will have implications for the Council’s employees and there will be a loss of jobs”. The report says “Although the impact on individuals is likely to be mitigated as a result of natural wastage and the deletion of vacant posts,it is ,nevertheless ,expected that there will be a number of redundancies”.
The Vale Council’s departmental bosses are being given a stern warning not to exceed their spending budgets and have been told “Any further cost pressures will need to
be managed down or mitigated by services” .
Despite these strictures, however the Vale Council is busy spending residents’ money by carrying out what some councillors say are wholly unnecessary “upgrades” to high-profile installations like local playgrounds in the hope of winning credit in time for May’s elections.
The proposed increase in Council Tax has already been agreed by the 5-person ‘cabinet’ which runs the council and is to be rubber-stamped by the full Vale of Glamoprgan Council on March 1st.