The last full meeting the Vale of Glamorgan Council considered the Statement of Accounts.

Only one councillor raised a question about the reserves: our elected representatives need to question the Council’s financial actions to monitor where our taxes are going.

At first sight there are two areas which require more clarity: reserves and staffing reductions.

Last year the Council’s usable reserves reduced by almost £9m, and over the last two financial years the ‘UNusable reserves’, which cannot be used for council services, fell by £85m. It would be helpful if the Council could explain, in layman’s terms please, the reasons for these significant reductions? Note 9 does give a breakdown of the movement in reserves but it is written in technical public accountant’s language.

The previous Labour/Llantwit run Council reported that 55 staff earned above £60,000 and 6 received more than £100,000 per annum in their first year. In their final year, 60 staff were paid above £60,000 and 4, over £100,000 a year.

349 exit packages were awarded over the 5-year period amounting to more than £5m, 31 of those exit packages for staff with a salary above £40,000 being almost £2m.

What proportion of those costs was optional? Money spent on additional temporary employees or consultants appear not to be within the Statement.

Dennis Harkus

FocusBARRY member