Vale of Glamorgan Council Considers Increasing Council Tax and Fees to Tackle Budget Gap
Vale of Glamorgan Council is looking at increasing council tax and a number of fees and charges to help it save millions of pounds.
The local authority unveiled a number of budget proposals last week as part of its plan to reduce a budget gap of more than £7m.
High inflation, increased costs and more demand on services have contributed to the significant pressure the council finds itself under.
Council leader Lis Burnett said the council is facing an “unprecedented financial challenge” and it is “impossible to maintain services at current levels” with costs increasing at a higher rate than funding.
Vale of Glamorgan Council, like local authorities across Wales, receives grant funding from the Welsh Government that goes towards a large chunk of its budget.
The council will receive £209m for 2024-25, which will account for half of its income. The rest will be made up by council tax, charges for services and a share of business rates from across Wales.
It is proposing to increase council tax by 6.7%.
Cllr Burnett added: “The funding announcement from Welsh Government, though sobering, was not unexpected and in line with our financial modelling. This situation is one that we have long been preparing for and an area in which this council has a positive track record of success.
“Though difficult and unpalatable decisions lie ahead, there is also an opportunity to find new and innovative ways to deliver our services and better serve our residents.
“This transformative approach is another sphere in which this organisation has previously excelled.
“As the budget is finalised over the next few months, what will remain an absolute priority is maintaining services for those in our communities that need them most.
“We will always make sure our children, older people and those with additional needs are properly looked after.”
Some car parking charges look set to go up across the Vale of Glamorgan.
The council is proposing to increase the cost of parking for up to two hours on Harbour Road and Nells Point in Barry to £2.
If the idea is approved, it will cost £4 to park there for up to four hours, £6 for up to six hours and £8 for all-day parking. The same increments relate to parking on Brig y Don and Rivermouth in Ogmore-by-Sea.
Parking on Wyndham Street and at Barry and Cowbridge town halls would still be free for up to two hours under the new proposals. Parking for up to four hours on Monday to Saturday between 8am and 6pm would go up from £2 to £2.50 and parking all day would go up from £6 to £6.50.
Vale of Glamorgan Council is also looking at increasing the cost of collecting bulky waste items. The collection of up to three items from the kerbside could go up from £25 to £27 under the budget proposal scheme.
There would also be a £5 charge for the collection of two additional items at the kerbside.
Greenlinks fares are also proposed to go up. The community transport scheme has four accessible minibuses, and two accessible cars.
Fare costs are decided according to zones. Under the council’s proposals, the cost of a zone one return fare would go up by 20p to £3.50; a zone two fare would go up by 60p to £5; and a zone three fare would go up by 50p to £6.
The cost of a Greenlinks membership fee would go up by 50p to £6.
Proposed increases to allotment hire fees proved to be a controversial idea last year and this year the council is proposing to increase the cost again.
The allotment fee at the moment in Barry is £11.20 per perch per year. Under the new proposal, it would go up to £12 per perch per year.
In Cowbridge, allotment fees could go up from £14 to £15 per perch per year.
Other proposals include renting out space at the council’s Dock Offices, handing over the management of community facilities to sports and community groups and increasing the cost of cafe-style licences to trade on highways.
If the council’s 2024-25 budget proposals for consultation are approved at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, January 18, a public consultation will go live that same day and run for four weeks.
The proposals will also be discussed by the council’s scrutiny committees before being considered further and finalised at a council meeting in March.
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