Home » Council leader says rise in fees and charges in Rhondda Cynon Taf ‘relatively fair’
Politics Rhondda Cynon Taf South Wales

Council leader says rise in fees and charges in Rhondda Cynon Taf ‘relatively fair’

INCREASES being proposed to charges for council services in Rhondda Cynon Taf are “relatively fair”, the council leader has said.

Councillor Andrew Morgan was commenting on proposals to consult on various changes to fees and charges.

It means the cost of car parks, secondary school meals, meals on wheels, bulky waste collections, leisure centre membership, some care services and some attractions could increase in Rhondda Cynon Taf next year.

A standard 5% increase in fees and charges is being proposed but some areas have specific proposals.

For car park charges, the proposal is to increase the charge to cover additional transaction costs incurred by the council where payments are made by card. It would see short-stay tariffs go up by 10p and long-stay tariffs by 10p for up to four hours and then by 20p for over four hours, with season ticket parking and residential parking permit fees to be frozen.

Secondary school meals would increase by 15p to £3.10, and the council said this means the full inflationary impact of high food costs is not passed through to families and is absorbed by the council.

For Leisure for Life membership, the proposal is for a 50p increase – 1.3% – taking the adult monthly price (direct debit 12-month commitment) from £37.50 to £38.00.

Pay and play prices are proposed to be increased in line with the standard uplift of 5%.

For Rhondda Heritage Park, a £1 increase, from £9.95 to £10.95 is being proposed for adults.

For Pontypridd Lido, the Boxing Day swim would increase by 50p from £7 to £7.50, and there would be the introduction of a 25p booking fee per ticket to help reduce the number of customers who do not attend pre-booked sessions and associated online transaction fees.

The proposal is to freeze the standard admission charge at £3 for adults, £2.50 for paid activities and £3.50 for cold swimming sessions, with free entry for under-16s.

Meals on wheels and day service meals would increase by 25p from £4.55 to £4.80.

The home care hourly rate charge would go up from £20 to £21 an hour and the daily charge for day centre services would also rise from £20 to £21.

It is also proposed that from April, the hourly rate charge for non-residential care via direct payment will be £11 per hour.

Bulky waste collections would increase from £17 to £20 for three items.

The council is also proposing an updated street trade licence scheme which is due to be considered by the licensing committee, and it also proposes to implement any future changes to maximum weekly charge levels for non-residential care services that might be brought in by Welsh Government.

The report also mentioned fees and charges decisions that have already been made, such as fines for environmental crimes (£100), a 25% reduction in council bereavement fees for families of deceased war veterans and servicemen and women living in Rhondda Cynon Taf, and licence fees for houses in multiple occupation.

The report, which went before cabinet on Wednesday, January 24, says the proposals for fees and charges could bring in £452,000 in extra income in a full year.

A council report said services have reviewed fees and charges levels with the aim being to “provide a comprehensive range of quality services at affordable and competitive prices. In parallel, a key aim has also been to not pass through to customers/service users the full impact of inflationary pressures being experienced by council services when setting fees and charges levels for the 2024-25 financial year”.

Cllr Morgan said he thinks the proposals are “relatively fair” and they’re trying not to pass on costs in some areas adding that he thinks the proposals being put forward are quite reasonable and that it’s a fair way to go forward.

Councillor Christina Leyshon said it’s pleasing to see 82.3% of people who responded to the first phase of the budget consultation agree with their approach adding it’s “not something we like to do but it i’s important we continue to provide a comprehensive range and a quality of services” that are at affordable and competitive prices.

She said they’re trying to strike a balance between maintaining and investing in services while taking into account the financial challenges residents are facing.