Last night Barry Town Councillors agreed that the Barry precept will rise by 10% from April, instead of the previously proposed 20%.
The precept is deducted from residents Council Tax bill and helps fund Barry Town Council services, with the rise equating to 44p per household, per month.
In total 14 Labour and Conservatives Councillors voted in favour of the proposals, with 6 Plaid Cymru Councillors voting against the proposals.
Prior to the vote Barry Town Council ran a public consultation via its social media where 76% of respondents saying they are not happy to pay an increase of 89p per month in order for the Council to deliver its budget proposals.
Follow the decision, the leader of the Council, Councillor Bronwen Brookes said “At the outset I think it would be worth clarifying that Barry Town Council raise a precept and not Council Tax, as misleadingly stated by Plaid Cymru, and the precept is the main source of funding for the Town Council.”
“We support local organisations with community grants and support the Memo with core funding – as well as various events for the community and families, often free of charge and inclusive for all, including the Christmas lights and fireworks as well as supporting local business with Shop Local. This is real investment in our community at the most local level.
“We also believe that community engagement is vital and this shapes the ideas and aspirations that residents have – they are the voices that tell us what they want, and we will always listen and do our best to deliver.”
“I believe we offer a value service for the people of Barry and I promise residents that they are at the core of every responsible and cost effective decision we make.”
Meanwhile, Cllr Shirley Hodges, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, the council’s largest opposition, said “Barry Town Council is very good at spending other people’s money. It’s like water through a sieve.
“In the real world, people are making cutbacks due to austerity, but Barry Town Council just carries on regardless. I don’t think that’s acceptable.”
The Conservative Group say the agreed reduction followed constructively working with other parties. Councillor Vincent Bailey, the leader of the Conservative group said: “It’s clear that the Town Council faced a challenging financial settlement this year, but to ask residents to foot the bill for a 20% hike in the precept was madness.”
“In the end, the voice of Barry residents was heard and what now stands is a fair settlement in challenging times.”
The proposed cuts are to corporate aspects of the Town Council’s budgets that would not affect frontline services, including cuts to the budget for corporate advertising & marketing, corporate events and hospitality.