Posted: Tue 8th Mar 2016

Special Council to formally agree final council tax arrangements

This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 8th, 2016

Councillors will be meeting this week to formally agree final council tax levels, following approval of the budget at Council last week which confirms plans to spend around £1.5m a day supporting vital services which touch residents’ lives all year round. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It means that, as already agreed, the next financial year will see spending of almost £160m on schools and education, with a further £103.5m on social care and almost £51m budgeted for place-based services like bin collection, street cleaning and road improvements. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

If approved council tax, not including precepts, will go up by about 85p a week for a typical Band D property. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Special Council on Thursday March 10 is taking place because the Welsh Assembly Government will not be approving its final local government settlement until Wednesday March 9. This means councils up and down Wales cannot formally set their council tax for the following year until the Welsh Government has formally agreed how much each local authority will get. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Swansea Council is not expecting any major late changes but Christine Richards, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “Even in these austere times the amount of work the council does supporting communities right across is incredible. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Apart from schools, social care, street cleaning and road improvements the council provides scores of other services to local residents every day. Last year, for example, the council carried out almost 74,000 house repairs and helped around 3,200 people who were threatened with homelessness. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“A lot of this work might go unnoticed, but it’s essential and it’s supporting the priorities of the people of Swansea who want us to focus our resources on safeguarding the vulnerable, educating our children, regenerating the city centre, tackling poverty and building sustainable communities.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillors at last week’s Full Council provisionally agreed an increase in council tax of 3.9%, not including any precepts from community councils, the police or fire services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Subject to any significant changes from the Welsh Government, Full Council will consider formally agreeing the 3.9% increase. The total amount payable to Swansea Council, not including precepts, for a typical Band D property would be £1,175.90. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

If agreed an additional amount of just over £4m will be raised from council tax to plough into services. The total amount raised from council tax will be just over £104m which, by way of example, is enough to cover only the cost of social services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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