Posted: Thu 14th Feb 2019

Ratepayers facing likely 8.5% council tax hike as lobbying visit to Cardiff by Flintshire Councillors fails to deliver more money

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 14th, 2019

Ratepayers in Flintshire are facing a likely increase of 8.5 per cent in their council tax bill after a lobbying visit failed to deliver more money.

A cross-party delegation of councillors travelled to Cardiff earlier this month to call for more financial support from the Welsh Government.

They said they hoped it would help to avoid a significant tax hike for residents.

However, a new report shows the meeting with AMs did not result in any improvements to Flintshire Council’s settlement for the upcoming financial year.
Politicians will now be asked to either accept the outcome or make a further formal request for assistance.

In his report, the council’s chief executive Colin Everett said: “Council supported a delegation visiting Welsh Government to make representations.

“The Senedd delegation took place on Tuesday 5th February and a group of cross-party members were able to make representations directly to the Minister for Housing and Local Government.

“Following the delegation visit to Welsh Government the council is advised that there has been no indication by Welsh Government of any intent to adjust the settlement for 2019/20.

“Council should either note and accept this outcome or advise on making a further formal request to Welsh Government for assistance.”

In total around 30 politicians made the journey to Cardiff, which they funded themselves.

However, ten chose not to board the bus after they were told that only five of them would be allowed to meet with ministers.

Deputy leader of Flintshire Council Cllr Bernie Attridge (Lab) was among those who decided not to travel after accusing the government of being ‘disrespectful’.

At the time, he said: “Up until last night I was all ready to go, but when they told us this morning I didn’t see the point in travelling for ten hours on a coach when the Welsh Government doesn’t have the courtesy to meet with all of us.

“I trust the five councillors who were chosen to put Flintshire’s case across, but I didn’t want to go to Cardiff just to have my picture taken in front of the Senedd.”

Cabinet members will be asked to provide recommendations on balancing the budget at their meeting on Tuesday morning (DEL 19 FEBRUARY 2019).
The level of council tax for 2019/20 is then likely to be set by full council in the afternoon.

The 8.5 per cent figure does not include the increase in the levy of the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority, which for Flintshire stands at 0.4 per cent.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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