Swansea council tax to rise by 3.8 per cent as budget is approved
SWANSEA residents are set to see their council tax bills rise by 3.8 per cent this year.
Members of Swansea Council's cabinet approved the authority's budget and tax rise plans, which will come into force in April.
The increase in council tax bills will bring in an extra £3 million million for services.
Last year the increase was set at zero per cent by the then Lib Dem-Independent ruling coalition, something the current Labour council has branded an "election tactic".
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David Phillips, leader of the council, said: "Swansea Council is making a significant investment in the future of our city over the coming year.
"Despite rising demand for services, pressure on our budgets and on local authority finances across Wales, the council is committed to prudent spending on services which matter to the people of Swansea.
"Children and young people, the elderly, the vulnerable, families and those living in poverty look to the council for support in these tough economic times.
"The commitment the council is making shows we are responding to their concerns by targeting funds at vital services which make a difference to their lives and to city communities as a whole."
For an average band D property the council tax increase will mean an extra of 72p a week — not including precepts from the fire and rescue or police services. South Wales Police has already set its precept rise at 7 per cent.
The council was facing a £12.6 million shortfall in its budget — a large chunk of which was down to an overspend of almost £5.1 million in social services.
It is going to be filled by staffing reductions — the previously announced early retirement and voluntary redundancy scheme — increases in some fees and charges, a use of general reserves and the council tax increase among others.
The fees increases will include a 5 per cent hike at leisure centres and for car parking.
Among the projects given the green light in the budget is a new roofs for Swansea Market, a revamp of Penlan Leisure Centre, and improvements to the sea wall at Langland Bay.
Some £160,000 is also going to be put into new measures to tackle the dog fouling and littering.
Details of the authority's revenue budget says that an extra £1.35million is going to be needed in the coming year due to a significant increase in demand for adult social services, in particular demand for residential care which has increased from 678 place in March 2011 to 809 places in September 2012, and is set to grow in the coming years.
The budget will go before full council next week.