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Councillor demands action to stop further council tax increases

Created on 25/03/2019 @ 11:19
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Changes need to be made to prevent further increases in Council Tax, a Powys county councillor has demanded.

As Council Tax bills land on people's mats, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan said residents in Newtown and throughout the county needed action to prevent more costs.

“With a 9.5% rate increase this year, fundamental changes have to happen. Powys is a low wage economy and even though we have a higher than average self-employed that often is a matter of must and not a guarantee of higher income," he said.

“It is imperative therefore that the Independent/Conservative led Cabinet take steps and we propose the following as ones that should be done to lighten the pressure on Powys residents in the future."

He set out a number of points that should be addressed. These included:

Working with other rural Councils such as Ceredigion and Gwynedd, and ensuring a better funding formula for rural Wales, and to operate as a Celtic Knot, binding everyone together rather than being some sort of ‘lone ranger’ isolated and alone
Supporting the call of Gwynedd Council to restrict the loophole in Second Home taxes and then raising up to 100% tax on them. With 1,262 holiday homes in the County it will raise up to 900k annually for Powys. It isn’t right that those with the ability to pay avoid paying whilst residents have to pay ever more. 
Aim at selling £20m worth of additional assets in order to develop a capital investment fund that would save £1.2m a year of interest or £30m over the 25 years – yes friends £30m saving for Powys residents.
How about making greater use of the HRA(housing) fund to better reflect the true costs around our housing stock saving the Authority 900k a year 
Review the education provision to ensure that it is appropriate and suitable for the twenty first century and making the best use of resources and assets 
And yes Children’s Social Services will have to save at least £2m a year – the present situation is NOT sustainable.

Cllr Vaughan said: "Powys Council has to correct the image of historical inaction, parochialism and inability to take decisions and implement a positive vision for the future. Powys residents cannot be continually squeezed."

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