Concerns over tax rise and reserve figures

A PLAID Cymru councillor has talked about his disappointment in the Vale's recent council tax rise.

Ian Johnson has said that his party proposed a three per cent rise, which would be among the lowest in Wales, and also questioned the accuracy of information regarding the amount of money the council has in reserves.

He said: "“Plaid Cymru is concerned that the information given to councillors about the level of reserves is not as accurate as it should be when making decisions.

“It was recently uncovered that there was £15 million more in council reserves at the end of March 2013 than anticipated only weeks earlier in February when the last budget was set. There was £55m rather than the £40m that we thought was there.

“That is a substantial difference in our reserves and puts the council’s finances in a different light, even as we face large cuts.

"We can’t be any more certain about the real position at the end of this month.

“Having more accurate information means that councillors can make better informed decisions about how to use our finances and, hopefully, better decisions as well.”

Speaking about the council's decision to raise tax by 4.5 per cent, he said: "In the last two years, during a cost of living crisis, the Labour led Vale of Glamorgan has increased council tax by 9.5 per cent.

“Plaid Cymru want to protect public services and jobs while being fair on council taxpayers in the Vale. That’s why we recommended a three per cent rise that would have been one of the lowest council tax rises in Wales.

“Unfortunately, Labour wouldn’t listen to our reasoned amendment, while the Conservatives called for cuts in non-statutory services, which can include libraries, leisure and bus services."

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