Anglesey rate payers face five per cent council tax rise


Geraint Jones

ANGLESEY rate payers could face a five per cent council tax hike, as budget cuts take hold.

An Anglesey Council executive committee on Monday meeting approved an initial budget for consultation, as the authority braces itself for a £3.5 million budget gap this financial year.

Committee members approved the initial budget, which combines revenue from the tax increase with £2.85 million of savings to bridge the gap.

Finance porfolio leader councillor John Chorlton stressed the tax increase would amount to 85p a week.

The budget proposes to save £227,000 by closing 29 toilets on the island.

However, councillor Bob Parry said: “We have buses from cruises ships going around Ynys Mon.

“The first thing they will do when they come here is ask where the toilets are.”

Cllr Chorlton said there was some “wriggle room” in the proposed budget, and council leader cllr Bryan Owen added the budget contained proposals for closures, and that no decisions had been made.

While he recognised the need to restructure services, leisure porfolio holder cllr Trefor Lloyd Hughes expressed fears for the future of the island’s leisure centres.

He said: “My personal view is that I could see the leisure service being privatised in the long run.”

The budget proposes closing one pool outsourcing a leisure centre and the “withdrawal of parks and outdoor facilities.”

However, cllr Chorlton added: “There’s no mention of closing any leisure centres.
“We’re just looking into how we can reorganise and get value for money from them.”

Council leader cllr Bryan Owen said the Energy Island project could generate £25 billion for the island.

He added: “The £300,000 is just spitting in the ocean compared to what could come in if we play our cards right.”

The council will hold a public consultation until February 2013, before it sets the budget and council tax rate in March.

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