Council tax rise agreed at budget meeting

February 25, 2010 No Comments »
Council tax bill

Council tax will rise from April 2010 by 2.94 per cent

Cardiff councillors came together to agree a budget that gave a council tax rise of 2.94 per cent.

The council voted 41 to six in favour of the budget for 2010/2011 with nine abstensions.

Councillor Mark Stephens, executive member for finance, Plasnewydd ward, outlined the budget against the backdrop of national debt problems.

View a copy of the full Cardiff Council budget for 2010/2011

He said: “We will lose 350 jobs in total at this council, but there will be no compulsory redundancies. We’ve indentified £14 million of savings and in the last six years we’ve managed to save £65 million. Unfortunately a key way of making savings is to slim down the workforce. We feel a rise of 2.94 per cent is good considering inflation is at 3.4 per cent and the Welsh average of council tax is much higher.

“I’m particularly proud of the extra £500,000 allocated for special schools, which is an increase of 6 per cent spending.”

Councillor Rod McKerlich, Radyr ward, outlined the Conservatives alternative budget, which was voted down, that offered a decrease in council tax of 0.5 per cent.

He said: “This is a political budget. Officers have identified larger numbers of savings but that money is being squirreled away for future years rather than being used to cut council tax. I take issue with the £230 million that this council is spending on goods and services, and just 5 per cent is being cut from that budget. As sub contracting is now en vogue, maybe this administration would consider sub contracting the financial matters of this council to us.”

Leader of the Council, Rodney Berman, Plasnewydd ward, responded to the Conservative’s budget by highlighting that under their proposals nearly 500 staff at the Council would lose their jobs.

Councillor Ralph Cook, Trowbridge & St Mellons ward, gave the Labour alternative budget, with multiple amendments, that was voted down.

Cook attached the £260,000 spent on hospitality by the council, the upkeep cost of the Mayor of Cardiff and questioned the £50,000 spent on the Cardiff Business Partnership.

Neil McEvoy, deputy leader of the Council, Fairwater ward, responded by backing the Cardiff Business Partnership and defending it as a valuable use of tax payers money that helped to bring businesses to the city.

Councillor Jayne Cowan, Rhiwbina ward, criticised the Liberal Democrats for appearing proud of their decision to raise council tax and took issue with the Tory proposals to decrease care home funding while presenting the Independents alternative budget.

Also during the budget discussions £150,000 was revealed as being spent on a refurb of Fairwater Library, £1.4 million will be spent on cycling in the city over the next two years and £1.7 million will be generated from Section 106 agreements and go towards highway maintenance.

You can watch live coverage of Cardiff Council meetings via the webcasting service on the council website.

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