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Swansea council tax to rise by 3.8 per cent as budget is approved

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

Comments (12)

SWANSEA residents are set to see their council tax bills rise by 3.8 per cent this year.

Members of Swansea Council's cabinet approved the authority's budget and tax rise plans, which will come into force in April.

The increase in council tax bills will bring in an extra £3 million million for services.

Last year the increase was set at zero per cent by the then Lib Dem-Independent ruling coalition, something the current Labour council has branded an "election tactic".

David Phillips, leader of the council, said: "Swansea Council is making a significant investment in the future of our city over the coming year.

"Despite rising demand for services, pressure on our budgets and on local authority finances across Wales, the council is committed to prudent spending on services which matter to the people of Swansea.

"Children and young people, the elderly, the vulnerable, families and those living in poverty look to the council for support in these tough economic times.

"The commitment the council is making shows we are responding to their concerns by targeting funds at vital services which make a difference to their lives and to city communities as a whole."

For an average band D property the council tax increase will mean an extra of 72p a week — not including precepts from the fire and rescue or police services. South Wales Police has already set its precept rise at 7 per cent.

The council was facing a £12.6 million shortfall in its budget — a large chunk of which was down to an overspend of almost £5.1 million in social services.

It is going to be filled by staffing reductions — the previously announced early retirement and voluntary redundancy scheme — increases in some fees and charges, a use of general reserves and the council tax increase among others.

The fees increases will include a 5 per cent hike at leisure centres and for car parking.

Among the projects given the green light in the budget is a new roofs for Swansea Market, a revamp of Penlan Leisure Centre, and improvements to the sea wall at Langland Bay.

Some £160,000 is also going to be put into new measures to tackle the dog fouling and littering.

Details of the authority's revenue budget says that an extra £1.35million is going to be needed in the coming year due to a significant increase in demand for adult social services, in particular demand for residential care which has increased from 678 place in March 2011 to 809 places in September 2012, and is set to grow in the coming years.

The budget will go before full council next week.

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 09 2013, 10:37AM

    brochadav i agree about the poll tax it was more fair. Shame the LD couldn't have forced a local income tax, to many ultra rich in the Tory party to oppose it i guess

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  • brochadav  |  February 08 2013, 10:25PM

    Council tax is blatantly unfair, even compared to poll tax. We should pay for the service we receive and not based on the value of our house. If what are currently band A houses get exactly the same services as band D houses then they should pay the same amount. But then why only give a 25% discount to single occupants when the houses around them may have 4 or 5 people and generate a lot more rubbish and need for service? The poll tax was a far fairer idea, just poorly planned, presented and implemented. When you talk about who to vote for, what's the difference between them really? Local politicians are a waste of time and money. Ideology and points scoring coming before doing a good job.

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 08 2013, 2:56PM

    Philosoraptor if you remember back to the early 1990's council tax was a lot lower in Wales than in the rest of England. The Tories altered the way it was funded and as Yaz would say since then the only way as been up The cheapest anywhere in the UK now is in Wandsworth, a band E which i am costs only £829.32.

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  • Philosoraptor  |  February 08 2013, 2:44PM

    At about £1000 per year before Labour increases, I was paying amongst the highest council tax in the UK outside of the M25! So not sure how you guys think the LD were good to us on the tax front.

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 08 2013, 12:42PM

    rees91 i agree with you. There are many things wrong here in Wales, and since in many cases Labour have been in power for generations in many of our towns and city's, it is they who must take the blame. We can look at other socialist countries in Scandinavia and see that things are run much better than here, we only have to look at some of the councilors Am's and MP's to see where the problem lies. Success breeds success they say, sadly it works the other away around as well

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  • rees91  |  February 08 2013, 12:36PM

    I agree with Neathboy234 about the LDs in Swansea. Love or hate them as a party they were fantastic for Swansea and did freeze council tax while investing in public services. Labour have a history in Wales of raising council tax, and gutting services to the bone - just look at Cardiff & Swansea, the LDs were in control their for 8 years and kept council tax and some of the lowest in the country meanwhile invested in the city at the same time. Now Labour have raised council tax, created £100,000+ salary jobs for their friends meanwhile have killed the culture of Cardiff in particular - closing libraries earlier, scrapping music events, shutting down swimming pools (what is it with Labour and hating swimming pools, they did the same in Swansea!) and other services. Its a shame Labour ran council elections on national issues rather than say what they will do at council levels because people fell for their rhetoric and now have to live with the consequences.

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 08 2013, 11:47AM

    bennyhill4 i was just telling to vote LD because they didn't have a rise whist in power lol. Personally i'm happy for the council tax to rise a little in line with inflation, although i would much rather see a local income tax. And before you ask No it hasn't got anything to do with the fact that i pay £180/month in my E band house here in Neath. I just think we need a more fair system when you pay in accordance to how much you earn.

  • bennyhill4  |  February 08 2013, 11:42AM

    Neayhboy234, I cannot believe you just recommended Westlangdon to joun the lib dems. Opinion polls show that party is on it's way to oblivion once the tories have had their fill of using them.This is the same lot that left a shortfall in the last budget of £12.6 million,and overspent £5.1 million on social services. Can anyone disagree that the market needs a new roof,or should we wait until it collapses. Penlan leisure centre definately needs updating, or is it just the LC2 we should look after, and the sea wall at Langland i imagine needs repairing. People are always moaning about the dog fouling and litter but it looks like when a party in power wants to do something positive about it you lot on here dont want to pay for it. The only reason there was no increase in council tax last year was besause the last lot knew the voters had had enough of them and it was a last throw of the dice to try to stay in office

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 08 2013, 10:03AM

    williamwaun well you know what to do join the LD's and campaign for them at the next election.

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  • williamwaun  |  February 08 2013, 9:59AM

    Vote Labour and that's you get, higher taxes. Have warned you all before but you still keep voting them in!!!

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