Council tax hike of 3.95 per cent for Monmouthshire and Torfaen

Council tax hike of 3.95 per cent for Monmouthshire and Torfaen

Council tax hike of 3.95 per cent for Monmouthshire and Torfaen

First published in Pontypool news

COUNCIL tax could rise by 3.95 per cent for two areas in Gwent, as Monmouthshire cabinet are presented with their budget report this afternoon after proposals were agreed by Torfaen cabinet members yesterday.

Yesterday, Torfaen council agreed proposals meaning rates are likely to rise by £39.81 a year for Band D households.

The increase is expected to raise around £1.3 million in revenue, which would contribute towards radical plans to save the authority £11.2 million from its 2014/15 budget.

It is part of a larger plan to save £40 million over the next four years.

Assistant chief executive officer Nigel Aurelius, who presented the final budget report to cabinet said it was an “extremely difficult final funding settlement”.

He said while council tax would rise – and be set at £1,047.69 for Band D properties – it was a budget which protected schools, social care, and employment as far as possible.

Councillor Anthony Hunt, the executive member for resources, said: “This £1.3million is a long way short of the £11 million pressures we have on us.

“Without it another £1.3million of cuts would be needed. It would mean significant job losses and loss of services.

“We recognise the importance of keeping tax levels low for hard-hit residents but this is a case of the least worst scenario.”

The cabinet agreed to safeguard council tax support for pensioners for one more year, as part of recommendations. Full council will vote on the recommended proposals on March 4.

A report being presented to Monmouthshire’s cabinet today says a 3.95 per cent increase in council tax across four years, along with £1.539 million of reserve funding, would be sufficient in reducing the council’s £664,000 gap in their budget.

In December, the council still had to find £1.094 million to bridge a total deficit of £9.3 million in its budget.

Cllr Phil Murphy, cabinet member with responsibility for finance, said: “Our priority has been to see continued investment in things that matter to the people of Monmouthshire."

The report proposes to cut £175,000 to the cultural and tourism services department by the end of 2014/15, £94,000 by 2015/16 and £65,000 by 2016/17. It suggests tourist information centres are moved into town museums to reduce staffing and premises costs.

Other money saving plans include increasing the price of school meals, reducing street sweepers and dimming street lights.

Comments (7)

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8:09am Wed 12 Feb 14

davidcp says...

Confused - they have to find 20% cuts but my bill goes UP?
Someone explain the maths, please?
Confused - they have to find 20% cuts but my bill goes UP? Someone explain the maths, please? davidcp
  • Score: -1

8:28am Wed 12 Feb 14

scraptheWAG says...

davidcp wrote:
Confused - they have to find 20% cuts but my bill goes UP?
Someone explain the maths, please?
westminster has given the WAG millions to enable them to freeze council tax like in england the WAG have taken this money and squandered the lot new offices job creation on a massive scale welsh language nonsense and so you now have to pay extra council tax (you cannot spent money twice) its what Carwyn calls delivering for Wales..
[quote][p][bold]davidcp[/bold] wrote: Confused - they have to find 20% cuts but my bill goes UP? Someone explain the maths, please?[/p][/quote]westminster has given the WAG millions to enable them to freeze council tax like in england the WAG have taken this money and squandered the lot new offices job creation on a massive scale welsh language nonsense and so you now have to pay extra council tax (you cannot spent money twice) its what Carwyn calls delivering for Wales.. scraptheWAG
  • Score: 11

9:07am Wed 12 Feb 14

Crossbenchtory says...

Don't know much about Monmouthshire but here in Torfaen all I can say is that this is what you get when you continually return the same people to council seats. There is no accountability so money continues to be squandered on over paid councillors and beauraucrates as well as pet projects and trendy causes instead of concentrating on core services like education, roading, waste disposal etc.

Just for a start, Croesyceiliog North does not need 2 councillors, there's a £15000 + saving per year for a start.
Don't know much about Monmouthshire but here in Torfaen all I can say is that this is what you get when you continually return the same people to council seats. There is no accountability so money continues to be squandered on over paid councillors and beauraucrates as well as pet projects and trendy causes instead of concentrating on core services like education, roading, waste disposal etc. Just for a start, Croesyceiliog North does not need 2 councillors, there's a £15000 + saving per year for a start. Crossbenchtory
  • Score: 14

9:47am Wed 12 Feb 14

varteg1 says...

Although very grateful for a nice new roof, courtesy the Assembly, no doubt as a part of some overall social improvement scheme, tax payer funded of course, I am concerned that if rate rises are to be a constant feature of the year on year council budgets, I would seek to get more than a new roof.

Some spending on the general environment, road surfacing, landscaping and street cleansing would go a long way to see justification for these rises.

But maybe I am whistling in the wind, despite a promise that my road would be re surfaced twenty years ago, we are still awaiting the arrival of the tarmac machine.

As I understood the rules regarding council spending over raising and collecting the rates, the needs of the community comes first, a principle that appears to have been shoved to one side of late, preference being given to making sure that the bureaucratic establishment
Although very grateful for a nice new roof, courtesy the Assembly, no doubt as a part of some overall social improvement scheme, tax payer funded of course, I am concerned that if rate rises are to be a constant feature of the year on year council budgets, I would seek to get more than a new roof. Some spending on the general environment, road surfacing, landscaping and street cleansing would go a long way to see justification for these rises. But maybe I am whistling in the wind, despite a promise that my road would be re surfaced twenty years ago, we are still awaiting the arrival of the tarmac machine. As I understood the rules regarding council spending over raising and collecting the rates, the needs of the community comes first, a principle that appears to have been shoved to one side of late, preference being given to making sure that the bureaucratic establishment varteg1
  • Score: 4

10:39am Wed 12 Feb 14

Ollie254 says...

The Government , the one in London, have given the WAG money to freeze council tax but the WAG have refused to do so. It could reasonably be expected that with the monies to freeze council tax and the above increase we will see an increase in services.
The Government , the one in London, have given the WAG money to freeze council tax but the WAG have refused to do so. It could reasonably be expected that with the monies to freeze council tax and the above increase we will see an increase in services. Ollie254
  • Score: 4

11:46am Wed 12 Feb 14

Crossbenchtory says...

Ollie254 wrote:
The Government , the one in London, have given the WAG money to freeze council tax but the WAG have refused to do so. It could reasonably be expected that with the monies to freeze council tax and the above increase we will see an increase in services.
At the end of the day it is just another example, like the Welsh NHS, of the socialists in the WAG deliberately sacrificing the interests, health and lives of the voting public of Wales in order to attack the Government in Westminster.

The worst part of it is that the average Welsh voter will fall for the lie of it all being Westminster's fault and, like the sheep that they are, continue to vote socialist at election time.
[quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: The Government , the one in London, have given the WAG money to freeze council tax but the WAG have refused to do so. It could reasonably be expected that with the monies to freeze council tax and the above increase we will see an increase in services.[/p][/quote]At the end of the day it is just another example, like the Welsh NHS, of the socialists in the WAG deliberately sacrificing the interests, health and lives of the voting public of Wales in order to attack the Government in Westminster. The worst part of it is that the average Welsh voter will fall for the lie of it all being Westminster's fault and, like the sheep that they are, continue to vote socialist at election time. Crossbenchtory
  • Score: 3

1:36pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Bilbo Biggins says...

We all pay for Labours mismanagement, failures and waste in Torfaen as is the whole of UK paying for the disastrous last Labour government . We vote for them so we deserve what we get. It’s a depressing certainty that Labour will always get in in Torfaen so why should they care. They don’t even pretend to most of the time. If you have a non Labour councilor, particularly independent, chances are you might know their name. If you have a Labour councilor chances are you won’t. They are totally anonymous. I don’t know how they sleep at night.

What are we paying for exactly? The worst education results in the UK? Fraudulent IT deals (that one has gone quiet). You can list the failures all day.

Each party should present a spending plan including any annual rises at each election. They can then be held to account. Sneaking it in 6 weeks before the 1st payment is a gutless, shameful policy.
We all pay for Labours mismanagement, failures and waste in Torfaen as is the whole of UK paying for the disastrous last Labour government . We vote for them so we deserve what we get. It’s a depressing certainty that Labour will always get in in Torfaen so why should they care. They don’t even pretend to most of the time. If you have a non Labour councilor, particularly independent, chances are you might know their name. If you have a Labour councilor chances are you won’t. They are totally anonymous. I don’t know how they sleep at night. What are we paying for exactly? The worst education results in the UK? Fraudulent IT deals (that one has gone quiet). You can list the failures all day. Each party should present a spending plan including any annual rises at each election. They can then be held to account. Sneaking it in 6 weeks before the 1st payment is a gutless, shameful policy. Bilbo Biggins
  • Score: 3

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