Council tax in Bridgend to increase by 3.9%written by Bella Palmer
The increased council tax rate will cost a total of £1,597 to residents living in Band D properties
Council tax in Bridgend county borough will increase by 3.9% from April. Councillors voted in favour of the spike and making cuts to service and corporate budgets worth £1.76 million to achieve a balanced budget.
The increased council tax rate will cost an extra £59 (at a total of £1,597) to residents living in Band D properties.
The net budget requirement for the Labour-led council is £299 million and more than £86 million is to be funded from council tax.
An Independent councillor proposed a budget freeze on council tax rates for the upcoming financial year, stating he was concerned about how increased rates could impact residents.
Cllr Alex Williams said the council tax increase is "inconsistent" with the values outlined in the council's corporate plan.
Council leader Huw David said he "completely" understood Cllr Williams' point and urged any resident struggling with council tax to contact the local authority.
He added that all of the 22 local authorities in Wales are considering increasing council tax rates for 2020/21, as are all councils in the UK.
Cllr David said the council had to increase council tax for the upcoming year otherwise it would need to do so the following year and it would be "irresponsible" of the council to use its reserves to fund a council tax freeze.
The Welsh Government will give the council an increase of 4.3% (or £9.064 million) from last year, higher than the average increase for all Welsh councils of 3.8%.
The 3.9% council tax increase approved earlier today, equates to 77p per week for a person living in a Band A property and £1.15 per week for a tenant in a Band D property.
The majority (62%) of properties in Bridgend county borough are below Band D.
Cllr Alex Williams said he "cannot believe" the council, "with a gross revenue budget of £435m can't make £3m of efficiency savings in back office functions which do not affect the delivery of front line services."
He said freezing council tax would "shield" residents in Bridgend "from an additional financial burden".
We live in extraordinary times and must be mindful of our constituents' financial circumstances. I can't in all consciousness leave a further burden on the residents of Pencoed and Heol y Cyw, he added.
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