Conwy county residents face council tax increase


James Wilde

CONWY residents face a 4.6% increase in their council tax from April.

Councillors were presented with two options during a meeting of Conwy Council’s cabinet – either a rise of 4.22% or 5%, for the fourth year running, in the draft revenue budget for 2017/18.

However, portfolio holder for finance and resources, Councillor Goronwy Edwards stressed the need for more spending on caring for people in their own homes.
He pressed for a 4.6% increase which members agreed to recommend to full council.

Cllr Edwards said: “There is a crisis in this sector and to try and relieve the pressure I’d like members to consider an alternative of a 4.6% increase which would push the spending on domiciliary care from £15 to £15.80 a week.”

Chief executive Iwan Davies had recommended that council favour supporting the sustainability of services, in preference to agreeing a smaller increase in council tax.

Mr Davies said: “I appreciate the need for members to balance service sustainability alongside other matters, such as the amount of council tax paid by Conwy’s households.”

Cllr Abdul Khan, of Glyn ward was in favour of a 5% increase. He said that councillors should vote sensibly and not in a way to look favourable to voters in the local elections on May 4.

”5% is the best way forward for our constituents. We need to make a sensible decision and not vote for a lesser option because it looks good to voters in an election year.” Cllr Khan said.

Cllr Mike Priestley, of Marl Ward objected to a 5% rise, not wanting his residents to foot the bill for Government policy.

He said: “The new national living wage policy creates a £900,000 bill and the apprenticeship levy is £500,000. That is the equivalent of a 1% rise in council tax. Our government promises these things and then asks local government to fund it. I struggle with that.

”I urge members to vote to keep the increase under 5% to give something back to our residents.”

Leader of the draft budget report, director of finance for CCBC, Andrew Kirkham said: “We could set the increase at 4.6% and acknowledge the pressures on our residents face or set it at 5% to give them the resources they deserve.”

The final decision on the proposed rise will be made by full council on Thursday, March 2.

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