Council puts through 1.94% council tax rise

February 24, 2011 1 Comment »
Council puts through 1.94% council tax rise

Liberal Democrat councillor Nigel Howells entering City Hall

Taxpayers in Cardiff  face a 1.94% rise after councillors agreed the budget for the forthcoming year amid protests from anti-cuts campaigners.

The Liberal-Democrat/Plaid Cymru plans will mean residents will pay an extra £17.59 per annum for an average Band D household from April 1.

In rubber stamping the proposed budget for the 2010/11 financial year the council’s executive also paved the way for £22m worth of cuts.

The budget will see 24 senior management posts – a fifth of the total number of positions– with salaries of more than £50,000 culled by the council in a bit to save £1.7m a year.

Mark Stephens, executive member for finance, said: “This is a budget to protect vital services and deliver £22m of savings.

“We will do everything we can to avoid compulsory redundancies but at senior management level this will be difficult.”

As well as the council tax increase residents will also have to pay increased charges for existing services.

These include up to £50 to register youth teams that use outdoor pitches, a 9.2% rise on cremation fees, a 7.5% hike on burial fees and higher charges for parks-based facilities and event park and ride sites.

The decision also means the council’s last two council-run care homes, Roath’s Ty Mawr Home and Cae Glas Home in Rumney, will be shut to save a further £1.15m.

Opposition councillors criticised the budget with Labour councillors Russell Goodway suggesting it was “the most regressive proposals” he had ever seen while Ramesh Patel said it amounted to little more than  “a tax on the poor”.

Around 50 protesters from the Cardiff Against The Cuts lobby group gathered outside City Hall to meet the councillors and voice their disapproval of the plans.

Ross Saunders, secretary of the group, said: “The councillors say the plans will not affect front-line services but we can see that youth clubs and care homes are threatened with closure and there are a lot of people who will still clearly be affected.”

What do you think about the council tax rise? Do you think as a taxpayer you’re getting value for money? Let us know your views on the budget in the comments below

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