COUNCIL tax in the Vale of Glamorgan is set to increase by an expected 3.9 per cent in April.
Homes across the Vale will face higher council tax bills as the Vale of Glamorgan council sets out its budget for the next financial year. Redundancies are also likely as the council needs to find £500,000 of savings from its revenue budget.
Details of next year’s council tax increases and the council’s budget were revealed in a recent report to cabinet. Councillors will debate and likely approve the budget during a council meeting on March 10.
But the above-inflation council tax rise has already been criticised by local Conservatives who have said they will vote against any increase.
Council finances are split between two budgets: revenue and capital. Revenue means spending on day-to-day public services, while capital means investing in longer-term upgrades, like building new schools.
The total revenue budget will be £251,653,000. About half of this will come from the revenue support grant of £124,398,000. Business rates—which are redistributed across Wales—will fund £43,918,000 of the budget. This leaves £83,337,000 needed from council tax.
The increase in the amount of funding the Welsh Government gives the Vale council is 4.9 per cent compared to this year: an extra £7,119,000. However, the council is planning to spend an extra £13,545,000 in its revenue budget next year, leaving a shortfall.
Carys Lord, head of finance, said:
“The available funding therefore still remains significantly less than the funding required by the council. As the council wishes to avoid ceasing the provision of services, the council still needs to consider an increase in council tax.
“The budget working group’s view is that the proposed increase in council tax at 3.9 per cent is a reasonable compromise between the pressure on services and the financial pressures facing council taxpayers.”
Redundancies are expected to cover some of the £500,000 the council needs to save. The council will consult the relevant trade unions once the details of any possible redundancies are revealed. Not hiring replacements when people leave roles will also save money.
Ms Lord added:
“Not all the savings required to meet the shortfall in funding will result in a reduction in staffing.
“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 could be a number of redundancies.