The multi-million cost of council borrowing in Caerphilly county revealed

05/03/2018

Every man, woman and child in Caerphilly county is paying the equivalent of more than £83 a year in interest payments, it has been revealed.

While at the same time, Caerphilly is holding more than £120m as reserves – around £30m more than Cardiff council, which has almost twice the population.

Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, said: “Caerphilly council is currently sitting on over £120 million of reserves, the second highest level of reserves in the whole of Wales according to official Welsh Government figures. And three of our neighbouring councils each have the eye-watering figure of £100 million less in reserves than Caerphilly.  If you add up all the reserves of the three neighbouring councils the total is still only just over half of Caerphilly’s figure.

 “Yet at the budget meeting to set the council tax, Labour councillors approved plans to borrow an additional £22.6 million for the General Fund and £44.3 million for the Housing Revenue Account which already has £17 million in reserves. I have a message for Labour leaders on Caerphilly council.  It is fine to keep some money in reserve for a rainy today but there is a monsoon at the moment.

 “Council tax is rising above inflation, schools are struggling with their funding, more than £300,000 is to be cut from the road maintenance budget and frontline services are suffering. It doesn’t make sense to keep such huge amounts in reserve.

“In the next financial year this council is due to pay nearly £15 million in interest. This equates to £83 for every man, woman and child in the borough. Is there really a need to borrow even more? I would say that the answer is a definite ‘No’.”