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Newport City Council leader hits back at alternative council tax proposals

Newport Civic Centre

THE LEADER of Newport Council has disputed claims the city’s council tax rise should be lower than the proposed 8.5%.

Independent councillors representing Lliswerry have put forward an alternative budget in which council tax would go up by a “more realistic” 4.64%.

They believe their budget proposals would be “balanced” and would have “less of an impact on people across our communities, who are struggling with rising costs”.

But Jane Mudd, who leads the Labour-controlled city council, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the independents’ proposals “simply don’t add up”.

Cllr Jane Mudd (Pic: NCC)

A lower council tax increase, coupled with the councillors’ plans for extra investments, “will lead to extensive borrowing”, Cllr Mudd said.

She also noted the Lliswerry councillors’ investment plans included several policies which Newport Council’s cabinet had already agreed.

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“Through our fiscal responsibility we have been able to allocate more money to roads, additional learning needs in schools and to help families facing homelessness and I’m glad to see that the Lliswerry councillors are supportive of our commitments, as discussed extensively by cabinet, in their own budget proposal,” Cllr Mudd added.

Announcing their alternative budget proposals earlier this week, the Lliswerry councillors accused Labour of being “hell-bent on hitting hard-working people in the pockets with inflation-busting council tax increases”.

Cllr Mark Howells (Pic: Newport County Counci)

On the proposed 8.5% council tax rise, Lliswerry councillor Mark Howells added: “This Labour administration states it’s a ‘listening council’, but 70% of people who responded to the consultation said the increase was too high and they were not happy with it.

“It is Lliswerry Independents who are listening to their constituents and producing a more realistic proposal for rate increases.”

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