The Penarth Council Offices at West House

Penarth’s Labour-controlled Town Council has exceeded its annual budget for administration and now incurs an annual staff  salary bill of well over half a million pounds a year .

The council was budgeted to spend £367,178 on what it calls “Office Administration” in the last financial year 2017/18 – but has actually ended up spending £371,314 – an overspend of £3,659 .

On another budget heading, entitled “General Administration”,  the council ended up overspending by £3,334 during the last financial year.

The council auditor states that its staff costs for the 2017/18 year including salaries, wages, PAYE, pension contributions and National Insurance – including  “termination costs” amounted to £561.935. The actual number of staff employed is not stated – but is understood to be in excess of 20 .

In April this year Penarth Town Council increased the “Penarth Precept” – the extra tax it imposes on every council-tax payer in the town  – by 7% , a figure which is way above the rate of inflation.

The council states that “ Because of the growing size of council’s financial affairs” the external auditor has asked for additional information before he can complete the audit of the council’s 2018-18 accounts .

Penarth Town Council’s “Vision” public consultation document

Penarth Town Council is also preparing to borrow money and get into debt. It is to apply to the Public Works Loan Board for a loan – the amount of which has yet to be disclosed but which is forecast to cost the council £9,000 every  quarter in  repayments .

The loan is to fund the council’s projects outlined in the council’s so-called  “Vision for Penarth” document . [See ]

The council’s secret Strategic Review Group [ a committee which is not open to the press or public and which does not publish any minutes]  – is reported to hold a budget of £16,586. Of this  cash, which is derived from local residents who pay the “Penarth Precept” , £9.000 is to be used  for the first quarterly repayment of Penarth Town Council’s Public Works Board loan. The rest of the £16,586 is to go towards “feasibility works” to develop a “business plan” for the council’s “Vision” policies.

A total of £54,000 has been set aside for the development of the council’s “Vision of Penarth”


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  1. Jp03 says:

    Are parish councils really allowed to both overspend and borrow?
    What’s worse is that this will probably all be spent to the benefit of people not in the town!
    Just out of interest, what fiduciary arangements apply to councillors?

    • Philip Rapier says:

      Why not take a look at Cowbridge (Ancient Borough) with Llanblethian Town Council. Website.-The cutting edge Flagship Council in the Tory Toffs heartlands
      Lord Snooty and his pals haven’t seen fit to post any Council minutes or this years accounts.
      The 2017 accounts are scruffily handwritten. Staff costs up £6000 and cashflow is down £30000. No explanation offered.
      Then pop over to that bastion of agricultural swaggering “big business” self importance and ruthless efficiency Wenvoe.Community Council
      Press the Accounts button and what comes up is a completely blank page..Latest Minutes a frighteningly topical November 17
      Double Standards? The Vale Green Wellied Toffs are not fit to be managing Taxpayers money in the Vale of Glamorgan Council Chamber?.
      You might say that I couldn’t possibly comment.

      • RetailGuru says:

        I don’t think that was JP03’s point, Mr Rapier. The fact of the matter is that this is OUR town, and it’s being ‘run’ by a tinpot administration that cannot manage its finances and alienates itself from anyone who dares speak up.

        It all went downhill fast when the previous Town Clerk left and Cuddy became the Mayor a couple of years later. Since then it’s been a sorry tale of failure.

  2. Andrew Worsley says:

    Just shows what you can rip off the public for? errrr I mean miscalculate the finances …………….ive said it before and its worth saying again ,what I repeat ,what, do these characters really do for the town??? answers on a postcard . They are useless , and couldn’t run a bath never mind a Council, pot holes everywhere and nothing done , paving slabs in front of the shops all uneven so when its rains its like a chessboard a dry bit their a puddle their ,for goodness sake !!!! get the housework done instead of stupid flights of fancy ….gateway to Penarth.. blah! blah! blah! get the CTV cameras working instead of telling rowdy youngsters to stay away at night from the vicinity of the Police Commissioners home , ooops! I meant to say the homes of the residents of Rectory Rd. In short earn your overblown wages instead of making a mockery of the system, we already have a ‘bad example’ of this ‘MONEY FOR NOTHING’ set by the scroungers and parasites in the House of Lords, not to mention the Commons. Prove yourself worthy and do a better job not leeching off the people your supposed to serve , its called earning your money , (just an old fashioned idea to anyone in politics i know) but it used to put into practice years back.

  3. The Tax payer says:

    Shocked to find this out !! 😎

  4. Kalan says:

    Maybe we could start a campaign to abolish the town council, it certainly doesn’t represent value for money, and it’s functions, such as they are, could just as easily be carried out by the Vale council, not themselves noted foe efficiency, but at least we”d be spared another layer of politicians and bureaucracy.

    • FlowerPower says:

      … and then let’s vote to join with Cardiff. Visitors to Penarth this weekend will have seen how unkempt and overgrown our roads and hedges look. Negotiating dock hill is bad enough without brambles and weeds taking over half the pavement. Embarrassing

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