Give Swansea residents a real say on Council Tax

I was concerned to read Cllr Jan Curtice's comments (Evening Post, 11 January 2016) that Council Tax could rise by 5% in Swansea for the year of 2015/16.

 

I am pleased that the Leader of the Council, Cllr Rob Stewart, has confirmed that no decision has yet been made on whether there will be a rise and, if one is needed, by how much.

 

If a Council wants to increase Council tax by more than 5% in Wales then it needs to get the backing from local residents through a referendum. Each year since 2012, Swansea Council has chosen a Council Tax rise just short of that 5% figure so that they do not need to get permission from local people.

 

During this time we have also seen the UK Government pass on money to the Welsh Government so that Council Tax does not need to rise. However, this money has not been passed on to Swansea Council. by the Welsh Government.

 

I ask that, following the Council's consultation, Cllr Rob Stewart raises this issue with Carwyn Jones and insists that Swansea gets the money it deserves so that we do not need to see yet another Council Tax rise. If Cllr Stewart decides not to then I hope he will instead hold a local referendum so that he can see whether the people of Swansea agree with any proposed increase that he may wish to implement.

 

Craig Lawton

Welsh Conservative Assembly Candidate for Swansea West

 

Featured in the South Wales Evening Post on 14 January 2016