by franklittle on 2 February, 2023
The full community council last night voted not to accept the finance and general purposes committee’s recommendation of an 11% increase in the precept for the community. (A precept is an addition to the county borough’s main council tax to pay for services which the county does not provide. There are also precepts for police and fire & emergency services.) There was a feeling that, in view of the current cost of living emergency, we should not ask for more than a 5% increase in Coedffranc householders’ bills. The clerk advised that 9.5% was the minimum necessary to avoid reducing the council’s reserve balance to a level below what past councils had regarded as safe. In the end, a compromise of 8% was reached. The clerk and the leader of the ruling Labour group pledged to look for savings.
South Wales Police authority has already decided to raise its precept by 5%. Mid and West Wales fire and rescue service has yet to set one as far as I can see; perhaps they are waiting for the outcome of current pay negotiations. (However, there are suggestions that they are looking at a 13% rise.) The county borough has gone out to public consultation over its proposed rise; https://www.npt.gov.uk/1410?pr_id=7162 refers.
Personally, I would have supported a bigger dip into the reserves, knowing (old cynic that I am) that in a pre-election year the Westminster government will make sure that there is a lot more money around in 2024, when residents will be more likely to bear an above-inflation rise in council tax. However, a reasonably safe compromise has been reached.Leave a comment