The Conservative-run Vale of Glamorgan Council – struggling with consistent underfunding from the Welsh Labour Government – is having to resort to guesswork to figure out how it can balance its books next year and the year after that.
The Welsh Labour Government still hasn’t given local councils any idea of how much central government funding they can expect to receive next year.
The Vale Council has therefore had to make an educated guess and is assuming that it will need to increase Council Tax by 2.5% a year over the next 3 years (in line with inflation as measured by the current Consumer Price Index).
Such an increase would provide the council with an extra £1,700,000 a year – but it still means the council will need to reduce its spending by £12,510,000 over the next three years to stay in the black.
All councils in Wales still use the misleading “Band D” rate s the yardstick for Council Tax. In the Vale of Glamorgan the Band D Council Tax rate is actually lower than many other local councils in Wales . It’s set at £1,186 – 2.6% below the Welsh average of
Increasing Council Tax for Band D to the Welsh average would provide the Vale Council with another £1,900,000 per annum.
The Vale Council is working on the basis of a possible 2.5% increase in Council Tax for next year but says “in order to reduce the funding shortfall a higher percentage increase in council tax could be considered”.
The new rate of Council Tax has to be set by March 11th 2019 but will probably be formally announced in February .