The Welsh Liberal Democrat Group on Powys County Council has reacted with fury at the decision by the Council’s Cabinet to increase charges to the county’s day centre users by 50% from next month, for both attending the centres and their meals. Attendance charges will rise from £10 to £15 per day and meals from £5 to £7.50 per day.
Describing the increase in charges as ‘outrageous’, Welsh Lib Dem Group Leader, Cllr James Gibson-Watt, said:-
“The Independent Cabinet sneaked this increase through two weeks after the County Council’s 2017/18 Budget and Council Tax rate had been set and I cannot recall there being any discussion about an increase in charges during the numerous budget seminars and debates at Council over the past few months. The Council agreed to a higher-than expected Council Tax increase to put enough money in to the budget to keep the day centres open, so these increases should not be necessary.”
“To make matters worse, the proposal was tacked on to an agenda item about raising the maximum that the Council can charge per week for community-based adult care services from £60 to £70, to bring the Council in line with Welsh Government policy; and at the end of a very long Cabinet agenda in which attention had been focussed on the debate about the future of the Welsh stream at Brecon High School and a host of other things.”
“I cannot think of a more devious and disreputable tactic in my time as a county councillor and the Cabinet should be ashamed of itself. I and my Welsh Liberal Democrat Group colleagues condemn both the increases and the way they have been introduced.”