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Ian Jones

Council tax 'higher in Wales than in rich London boroughs.

Council tax 'higher in Wales than in rich London boroughs'
Walesonline 28 Feb 2014 06:30
From April, council tax on a Band D property in Cardiff will go up to 1,164. In Kensington and Chelsea, they will be paying 1,071
This year not one of the 33 London local authorities is increasing their council tax. Haringey has announced a four years freeze. Kensington and Chelsea are giving all council tax payers a 100 rebate and Croydon 25.
By contrast, most councils in Wales are increasing council tax by more than twice the rate of inflation................................................

So could one of the Eddie's explain to me  why the council thinks we get enough for our money in Wales while they continue to close basic amenities and throw their workforce on the scrapheap?

And if you could try to do it without blaming the Con/Dems for once we've heard that far to often it's time Labour became accountable for their p*ss poor performance and gave the/their electorate an explanation.

Don't bother with any smart**se remarks lets see if you can tell the truth for once.

Well, they aren't going to be able to provide the basis for it Ian, they are not sufficiently experienced, whether they be councillors or not.

Perhaps it would help if I made it a little easier.


Councils spend two sorts of money - Capital and Revenue.
Capital equates to repairing your roof, building a garage, buying a car etc. It is generally a one-off or rare outlay.
Revenue is running costs, such as energy bills, Council Tax, Fuel and servicing.
The Works is a classic example of BG Capital spending, day-to-day services such as Social care, refuse etc. are Revenue.

Capital is generally provided direct by/through the WG, so we'll dispense with that one now.

Revenue !
Councils need so much to spend on providing services, governments never give them enough.

The gap is bridged by - you've guessed, Council Tax !

So, the WG provides x million, BG spends y million and the gap of z million is funded by the levying of CTax. However, This is dwelling dependent ie. it is apportioned by Band.

So, let's make the figures easy shall we?
Let's say BG needs 21 million to balance the books at the end of the coming year, and that there's 21,000 dwellings.
Nice - 21 Million divided by 21,000 = 1,000 per household.

There has to be a disparity because of the CTax Banding rules.
Now the Maths gets a little more difficult. We now have to apportion the 21 million between 7 Bands but it's not as easy as 3 million per band, because there has to be a reasonable, not huge, proportionate difference.
Imagine if we had 10,000 Band A and only 1,000 Band G. If each Band had to raise 3 million a Band A resident would pay 300 whereas a Band G would fork out 3,000.
Make the dwelling numbers 12,000 and 500 and it becomes 250 in A and a whopping 6,000 for G.

Right, a rest from Maths for a mo.
You'll see that numbers per Band plays a big part in the eventual cost, and also that the total cost is governed by the difference between what the council spends and what it gets from the WG.

Let's take the last one first.
If the council reduces spending then obviously the demand on CTax decreases, and this is why cuts are being made now. The 'financial advisers' have probably advised that in order to stay within the law ie. there is a cap on the percentage increase in CTax that a council is allowed to levy, spending, and hence the pressure on CTax, must be relaxed ie cuts, cuts and more cuts.

However, regardless of this what no-one can do is redesignate the bandings of dwellings, so despite the council being able to cut spending and hence reduce the overall burden it cannot escape from the maths required to determine how much each household pays.

Sorry, but back to the maths I'm afraid.

You saw in the examples above how numbers affected the eventual CTax bill.
The 'rules' for apportioning the overall bill between Bands ( ie the law) assume a relatively stable and static spread of dwellings per Band.
As an example let's assume that it's 10% A, 10%B, 20%C, 30%D, 15%E, 10%F and 5%G. You get the idea: 10% of a council's area would have,say, bedsits, 10% 2-bed flats or 1-bed houses, 20% 2-bed terraced, all the way to only 5% of dwellign would be 4-bed detached with gardens etc.  

So our 21 million gap would be split up as 2.1M to be raised from Band A properties (10% of 21M), 2.1M from B and all the way up to 1.05M from the Band G householders.

Now, that's all very well - until you get an area like BG, where, as in the example, there's almost say 50% of properties in Band A.
This means that overall those householders will have to stump up a bigger proportion of the gap than people in similar dwellings in areas where the breakdown of dwellings per band is closer to the proportions assumed in the 'rules'/'law'.

Hence CTax rates per band in BG are among the highest in the country (that's UK, not just Wales).

The formula is a little unjust to BG to be fair. HNowever that should not be used as an excuse because the council has it within its power to control or mitigate the effect, simply by spending less.

Why does anyone cut back?
There is only ONE prime reason, and that is because they are spending too much ie. they fear that they will spend more than their foreseeable income.

OK, that income can suddenly drop but the cutbacks will always be governed by how much you are spending (or need to).

The BIG problem, the absolute root cause of this, was the decision(s) made when Council Tax replaced the poll tax.

All councils decided upon their spending levels - but they didn't say 'we'll spend this much', they looked at what services they wanted to provide and then worked out what they could afford (without upsetting the electorate too much) and budgetted accordingly.

THIS council - and by that I mean the political leadership and councillors and - simply looked at the services and then levied an initial CTax charge that would cover the cost.
It didn't look at the cost-effectiveness of how it was providing them. It carried on in the old ways, how it had been providing services from Day Zero.
And in the ensuing years it failed to modernise, exploit new technologies and working methods, so instead of using those to reduce costs that could then be used to counter inflation, pay rises etc. the whole thing became imbalanced and we are where we are today.

Any service provider needs employees in order to properly perform. It is them that do the actual service, after all. But the workforce is also the single largest cost, so it's always hit first.

Hence the redundancies now.

The ironic thing is, this is a Labour-led council having to take Conservative-minded action, yet had it applied another  Conservative philosophy ie. value for money and analysis of cost-effectiveness, some years ago we probably wouldn't be in this mess.

It can be done of course.
Between 2008 and 2012, despite part of that time being a period of financial austerity, this council avoided the sort of major service cuts that we are now experiencing, and avoided compulsory redundancy or redeployment to new and unexperienced organisations such as trusts.
I can say, having been on the inside at that time, that it was down to looking after the pennies, looking closely at the costs of service provision and internal workings and preparing for worse.

Anyway Ian, to answer your last comment I'm afraid there aren't many who can tell the truth.

Not because they are mendacious, but because they do not have the intellect to understand what has been, is and will be happening as a result of both decisions and indecision.
You saw it down Llan 'Stute last week.
Every question with a financial or economic flavour simply passed to an officer, yet by Cllr McCarthy's own admission councillors had debated this not once but twice.

Whichever way you look at it - short-term memory loss or a failure to comprehend - it begs the question 'is there any hope at all?

One thing I'll say - there's absolutely no hope that any of them would be able to a) explain things like I just have; b) produce a rational and reasoned argument against anything I've said; and c) come up with a viable solution.

Oh - and d) make a contribution without a disparaging remark about something or anyone.

Isn't this very interesting ?

The nEddies (Smith and Jones) have been active but not one of the 6 have made any sort of post in response to mine above.

I will (well I would) say that it is a very comprehensive - and accurate - explanation and assessment of the situation, and hence I wouldn't expect anyone to take it to task, for fear of being exposed as someone who simply doesn't comprehend things.

And of course I fully expected nEddies Smith & Jones (being a Borough Councillor and/or in a relationship with a Borough Councillor) not to make a response, on the basis of course that they simply do not comprehend.

Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing

Well I've found a way to shut pinky and now-not-so-perky up.

Just talk turkey and they won't even risk coming back with Double-Dutch.
eddie smith

hands up anyone who read that rambling froth

eddie smith wrote:
hands up anyone who read that rambling froth

You seem to be the only person to have thought so.
Clearly beyond your comprehension and way above your intellectual ability.

How stupid can anyone be.
Any individual who understood it will now simply say "I understood it - 'neddie smith' knows nothing" and they might even think 'and they are too stupid to know that they know nothing'  

However, prove us all wrong and talk turkey now that you've become perky.

Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing

Council Tax higher in Wales than the rich London Boroughs

See the Flunkeys put the boroughs up 4.6% recently,with the grave charges it'll cost you more to die under this administration as well.
The Independents came out of the meeting with a bit of credit according to the Argus report.

Re: Council Tax higher in Wales than the rich London Borough

stoob wrote:
See the Flunkeys put the boroughs up 4.6% recently. With the grave charges it'll cost you more to die under this administration as well.
The Independents came out of the meeting with a bit of credit according to the Argus report.

Yep. Deadly's fans also confirmed the closure of the civic amenity sites. Except Ebbw Vale of course.

Right on comrades!

Council Tax higher in Wales than the rich London Boroughs

Socialists, collectively they aren't worth the contents of a tepid commode.

No cutting back on the Civic Car mind.

No cutting back on contributions to councillors' (including McCarthy) pension pot.

Plenty of cutbacks in Aber's regeneration though.

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