Councillors need to be held accountable

February 25, 2011 12:52 PM

On 22 February, the BBC reported that Welsh taxpayers have been slapped by huge council tax increases even though frontline services are being cut. Nearly all but one council (Caerphilly) within Wales have decided to increase their council tax by an average of 3% in April. All this a week after the ridiculous pay packets of chief executives was unveiled.

Some councils in England have seen their funding from central government fall by 25%, but household council tax bills are frozen, partly due to grants Westminster has supplied. Councils throughout Wales have only seen an average funding cut of 1.4% to their budgets which they receive from the Welsh Assembly Government. For Welsh taxpayers, this means service cuts and higher bills, even though the Assembly government could have alleviated some of the pressure by offering grants to councils similar to those given to English councils.

This story could have been so different. What if Cardiff Council saved £1.3m on public liability claims? What if councils throughout Wales saved the £752,000 spent on chauffeur driven cars? What if chief executives weren't paid extortionate salaries and the army of bureaucrats disbanded? Councillors need to be held accountable and the Welsh Assembly should focus and use the powers it already has to help Welsh taxpayers at this time of economic readjustment.

On 22 February, the BBC reported that Welsh taxpayers have been slapped by huge council tax increases even though frontline services are being cut. Nearly all but one council (Caerphilly) within Wales have decided to increase their council tax by an average of 3% in April. All this a week after the ridiculous pay packets of chief executives was unveiled.

Some councils in England have seen their funding from central government fall by 25%, but household council tax bills are frozen, partly due to grants Westminster has supplied. Councils throughout Wales have only seen an average funding cut of 1.4% to their budgets which they receive from the Welsh Assembly Government. For Welsh taxpayers, this means service cuts and higher bills, even though the Assembly government could have alleviated some of the pressure by offering grants to councils similar to those given to English councils.

This story could have been so different. What if Cardiff Council saved £1.3m on public liability claims? What if councils throughout Wales saved the £752,000 spent on chauffeur driven cars? What if chief executives weren't paid extortionate salaries and the army of bureaucrats disbanded? Councillors need to be held accountable and the Welsh Assembly should focus and use the powers it already has to help Welsh taxpayers at this time of economic readjustment.

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