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Debt Collection Aiding Freeze in Council Tax

An improvement in levels of debt collection has contributed to Monmouthsire County Council announcing a freeze in council tax for 2012/13.

The council is one of only three local authorities in Wales which have so far committed to a standstill.

The final meeting at the  Cwmbran County Hall saw the council approve an an additional £750,000 to be invested in school literacy and numeracy programmes over the next three years plus an additional £300,000 to support vulnerable children and adults.

Other key decisions included a standstill in the price of school and community meals, a clear pledge to deliver on the £80 million programme for 21st Century Schools, a continued commitment to invest in and improve the road network and a continuation in waste recycling services that have made Monmouthshire the top performer in Wales.

Despite significant funding cuts from the Welsh Government, MCC continues to effectively manage its finances and expects to underspend its budget in the current year.

Changes to working practices, streamlining internal processes, improved debt collection and cost reduction programmes have allowed the council to recommend increases to its spending on core priorities without increasing council tax.

Cabinet member for finance, Councillor Phil Murphy, said:

“The budget details an increase in spending on schools and the vulnerable, and no increases in the price of school meals and the community meals service while maintaining the current council tax rates.”

“In summation, we are able to freeze council tax rates and invest more into our main priority services.”