COUNCIL tax will rise by five per cent in Swansea, under new proposals by city leaders.
Swansea’s Labour administration needs to make just over £26 million of savings during the 2014/15 financial year, which starts on April 1.
The five per cent council tax hike will, if passed by full council later this month, raise around £4 million. It would result in a Band D householder contributing £1,079.98, excluding the South Wales Police precept.
Council chiefs said the money would fund an extra £1 million investment in road and pavement repairs, plus a new £300,000 community transformation fund.
Its revised budget proposals for 2015/15, following a public consultation, also include:
- No closure of any residential care home before April, 2015, alongside a review and further discussions about the council proposals to support independent living for older people.
- The proposed closure of Pennard Library to be put on hold to allow for further discussions and a review of library services.
- A review of all council fees and charges, including amendments to plans to charge in car parks which are currently free, alongside a review of residents’ parking.
- Continue support of the Ethnic Minority Learning Achievement Service (Emlas).
- Withdraw proposals to axe school crossing patrols at six schools where controlled crossings already exist.
Cabinet member for finance, councillor Rob Stewart, also told the Post that an extra £2.6 million would be ploughed into education and £2 million extra into social care. He added that a one-off sum - around £1 million - was expected in the coming months to help keep elderly people living independently at home.
The council has also scaled down its estimate of “at risk” staff from 378 to 173, thanks to flexible working and a greater roll-out of ER/VR (early retirement-voluntary redundancy).
“If these proposals are approved we’ll be spending £1.5 million a day supporting communities and the local economy,” said Mr Stewart.
COUNCILLORS charged with scrutinising council finance decisions with be focusing on Swansea Council’s budget proposals when they meet next week.
The Service Improvement and Finance Panel will be scrutinising the budget on Monday. The meeting will take place at 11am, in Committee Room 2, Civic Centre, Swansea.
The council’s cabinet member for finance, Rob Stewart, right, and the authority’s chief finance officer Mike Hawes, will be in attendance.
Councillor Mary Jones who chairs the panel said. “This meeting is open to the public and anyone who is interested is welcome to come along it is important that the public and press have a change to hear the cabinet member being asked to explain the budget choices the cabinet has made.”