COUNCIL tax in the Vale of Glamorgan will go up by 6.7 per cent, but people will not be charged to use coastal toilets.

Vale of Glamorgan Council met on Wednesday, March 6, to vote on a range of proposals put forward to help the local authority save more than £7m.

The proposals include new and increased parking fees, less street cleansing and charging more for the council-run transport scheme, Greenlinks.

As well as u-turning on its unpopular proposal to charge for coastal toilets, the council reconsidered an earlier proposal to pull more than £400,000 in financial support for non-commercial bus routes which serve the rural Vale.

In what council leader Lis Burnett called a budget that “protects the most vulnerable”, there will be a 13 per cent increase in funding for adult and child services and a five per cent increase in education funding.

However, Conservative group leader at the council, Councillor George Carroll, said the council is asking residents “to pay more for less”.

As part of the 2024-25 budget, 50 per cent of public bins across the Vale of Glamorgan will be removed and there will be no dedicated town sweepers.

Commenting on the 6.7 per cent council tax rise, he added it is “particularly galling that this inflation busting rise is not necessary” when there is “tens of millions of pounds sitting in the bank”.

The group leader put forward an amendment to the budget that proposed using £3.345m from the general fund to support the base budget and allow a three per cent council rise.

Cllr Carroll added: “The cash is there to make it happen.”

Plaid Cymru group leader at the council, Councillor Ian Johnson, said he was opposed to the amendment.

He called the proposal, which was eventually voted down, uncosted and warned the council would be left in an even more precarious financial situation if it were to take more than £3m from reserves “without any idea of how to return it”.

Cllr Johnson went on to express doubt about some of Labour’s budget proposals which were “not acceptable” in his view.

He said “I don’t like the idea of the administrative fee for residents in parking permit zones”, labelling the idea a “poverty levy” that will have a big impact on some of the poorest residents living in Barry.

Another parking proposal put forward by the council included increasing the cost of parking for up to two hours on Harbour Road and Nells Point in Barry to £2.

It will cost £4 to park there for up to four hours, £6 for up to six hours and £8 for all-day parking.

The same increments will relate to parking on Brig y Don and Rivermouth in Ogmore-by-Sea.

Parking on Wyndham Street and at Barry and Cowbridge town halls will still be free for up to two hours under the new proposals.

Parking for up to four hours on Monday to Saturday between 8am and 6pm would go up from £2 to £2.50 and parking all day would go up from £6 to £6.50.

Cllr Burnett said “Christmas was cancelled” for council officers and some cabinet members in preparation for the budget.

As with council’s across the UK, Vale of Glamorgan Council faces an increasingly bleak financial picture due to pressures like rising costs and demand on its services.

Barry And District News: Council leader Lis Burnett called it a budget that .protects the most vulnerable'Council leader Lis Burnett called it a budget that .protects the most vulnerable' (Image: Google Maps)

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On setting the budget, Cllr Burnett said: “It isn’t easy, it contains so many choices that we as a cabinet would prefer not to be making.

“We have a job to do. We have to deliver a balanced budget and our balanced budget is before you today.”

Under the council’s approved budget, the cost of a zone one Greenlinks return fare will go up by 20p to £3.50; a zone two fare will go up by 60p to £5; and a zone three fare will go up by 50p to £6.

The cost of a Greenlinks membership fee will go up by 50p to £6.

The collection of up to three items from the kerbside will go up from £25 to £27 and there will be a £5.50 charge for the collection of up to two additional items at the kerbside.

The cost of burials and sports pitch hire will also go up.