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Increasing council tax is an “important part of balancing our budget”, the leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council has said.
The council’s cabinet agreed to move onto the consultation stage for the proposed 2021/2022 budget, which includes a council tax increase of 3.9%.
What is Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet?
A council’s cabinet is made up of councillors in charge of different policy areas – such as education, environment, local economy, etc – and a leader.
It is separate to the council’s corporate management structure, which is headed up by its chief executive and various directors. Cabinet is made up of councillors, who are elected and have the ultimate say.
Typically, cabinet members are councillors from the party with the most elected council members.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet is made up of:
- Cllr Philippa Marsden (Ynysddu) – Leader
- Cllr Jamie Pritchard (Morgan Jones) – Deputy Leader; Infrastructure, Towns and Property
- Cllr Colin Gordon (Pontllanfraith) – Corporate services
- Cllr Eluned Stenner (New Tredegar) – Customer, Performance and Property Services
- Cllr Ross Whiting (Risca West) – Learning and Leisure
- Cllr Shayne Cook (Morgan Jones) – Social Care
- Cllr Lisa Phipps (Bedwas, Trethomas, Machen) – Housing
- Cllr Nigel George (Risca East) – Waste, Public Protection and Street Scene
- Cllr Andrew Whitcombe (Abercarn) – Sustainability, Planning and Fleet
Corporate management is made up of unelected employees of the council and has responsibility for day-to-day management of services, such as making sure the bins are collected. Corporate directors work with cabinet members to come up with policy which is then agreed upon by the cabinet.
The leader of the council, Cllr Philippa Marsden, said that this would lead to an 89p increase per week for properties in council tax band D – or £46.28 a year.
She said: “While none of us wants to see an increase in council tax, it’s an important part of balancing our budget.”
Council tax in Caerphilly County Borough, measured by the cost in band D, is currently the second lowest in Wales behind Pembrokeshire, and the lowest in Gwent.
The cabinet member for finance, Cllr Eluned Stenner, said that there has been “some concerns” about the 3.9% increase in council tax.
She said: “For some families this is a worrying amount.
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“The most vulnerable families in Caerphilly will be protected by the council tax reduction scheme.”
The council tax reduction scheme provides households on low income with a discount on council tax.
Cllr Stenner said there were currently 16,800 households receiving support from the reduction scheme, with many benefiting from a 100% reduction in payments.
She called on all councillors to support the “no cuts” budget proposals when it is debated next month.
Residents will now have a chance to have their say on the council tax proposals in a formal consultation.
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