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Fit for the Future Survey

Fit for the Future video transcript

Together we can make Bridgend County Borough 'Fit for the Future'.

We want to understand what the ‘new normal’ will need to look like for the council to deliver sustainable and effective services for the next five to ten years.

The survey covers the following areas:

  • responding to the Covid-19 pandemic
  • business and the economy
  • health and wellbeing
  • customer access to Civic offices
  • digitalisation
  • council Tax levels
  • the future

During the pandemic we focused our resources on providing essential services and protecting vulnerable residents. Emergency funding has been needed to care for older and vulnerable people.

We provided childcare hubs for keyworkers to enable them to work during the pandemic

We also supported thousands of local businesses and we’ll need to continue to do this, to help the local economy and businesses to create and support jobs.

At the same time income has been lost from trade waste services, car parks, planning applications and many other areas.

The estimated cost of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic in additional spend and lost income during the first six months of the financial year will be more than £10m.

Although we know we need to make changes, we will always do everything we can to protect people with the greatest needs. For this reason, we will continue to protect the money we spend on keeping vulnerable children and adults safe.

We need your help to make Bridgend County Borough ‘Fit for the Future’.

Have your say on Bridgend County Borough Council’s spending priorities and approach following the Covid-19 pandemic.

How to respond

This consultation period will begin on the 19 October 2020 and close on the 13 December 2020. You can respond or ask further questions in the following ways:

Due to the amount of pictures in the easy read version this survey may not be compatible with some mobile devices.

Please contact the consultation team if you would like a paper version of the survey.

Alternative formats are also available upon request.

Contact

Communications, Marketing and Engagement
Telephone: (01656) 643664
Address: Bridgend County Borough Council, Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The services the council provides FAQs

The Council delivers or enables many hundreds of services across all the diverse communities within the county borough. These services are grouped together into four directorates;

  • Education (which includes schools and family support);
  • Social services and wellbeing;
  • Communities;
  • Chief executives.

Each directorate delivers a wide range of services including social care, highways, parks and open spaces, rights of way, road safety, refuse collection, street cleaning, revenues and benefits, public protection, registrars, sports and libraries through our partners HALO and Awen.

Each directorate delivers statutory and non-statutory services. Some of the areas each directorate covers includes:

Education and family support

  • School improvement
  • Statutory Advice & Psychology
  • School music service
  • Support for children and learners with additional learning needs
  • Youth offending service
  • Inclusion
  • Emotional Health & Behaviour

Education

Funding is allocated directly to schools which is then spent in areas such as:

  • Teachers
  • Youth leaders
  • Agency staff
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Insurances
  • Cleaning/domestic
  • Maintenance of grounds
  • Equipment, Materials & Furniture
  • Communications / Computing
  • Printing, Stationery, Etc.
  • Catering

Social services and wellbeing

  • Adult social care
  • Adult Physical Disability/Sensory Impairment
  • Adults Learning Disabilities
  • Adult Services Management & Admin
  • Adults Mental Health Needs
  • Other Adult Services
  • Prevention and wellbeing
  • Recreation and sport
  • Childrens’ services

Communities

  • Regeneration and development
  • Streetworks
  • Highways And Fleet
  • Transport & Engineering
  • Parks & Open Spaces
  • Street Scene Management & Admin
  • Facilities management
  • Strategic Asset Management
  • Capital Design & Delivery

Chief Executives

  • Finance
  • Internal Audit
  • HR and Organisational Development
  • ICT
  • Housing and Community Regeneration
  • Legal Services
  • Democratic Services
  • Procurement
  • Regulatory Services
  • Registrars
  • Equalities
  • Welsh language
  • Council Tax and Benefits

Statutory service are services that the council have to deliver. These are set out in legislation from government and cover services such as schools, some elements of social care, environmental health inspection and planning. These are the services that have to be provided by the council.

Non-statutory services are not set out in legislation and do not have to be provided by the local authority. Non-statutory services support the communities, economy and environment of Bridgend county borough. This includes services such as leisure centres, a CCTV service and day services for older people and people with learning disabilities.

Some statutory services the council deliver will have an impact on wider statutory and non-statutory services. For example it is a statutory requirement for the council to help anyone threatened with homelessness within 56 days. But homelessness is a complex issue and impacts on other statutory services (such as health, social services and community safety) and non-statutory services (such as personal support services, employability services and community learning).

The pay of councillors is decided by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW), an independent agency which is not part of the council. Each councillor is entitled to a basic salary of £14,218 a year. Councillors are not paid for attending meetings but receive a salary to reimburse them for the time and expenses spent whilst on Council business.

Councillors can also claim travel and Subsistence Costs when on Official Business. The current mileage rate is 45p per mile reducing to 25p per mile after 10,000 miles in line with HMRC.

The IRPW also ensure that all authorities provide for the reimbursement of necessary expenses for the care of dependent children and adults and personal care needs up to the current maximum of £403 per month, subject to the production of receipts.

In 2019/20 a total of £2,846 was claimed by all councillors in Bridgend County Borough Council in travel expenses. Nothing was claimed for subsistence allowance and nothing was claimed for reimbursement of care costs.

Read more about the independent remuneration panel.

Budget consultation FAQs

Local authorities are required by law to have a balanced budget i.e. a financial plan based on sound assumptions which shows how income will equal spend over the short- and medium-term. Plans take into account funding from Welsh Government and council tax payers, deliverable cost savings and/or local income growth strategies as well as unavoidable budget pressures.

Non Domestic Rates (NDR), also known as business rates, are the means by which businesses and other owners of non-domestic property contribute towards the costs of local authority services. The National Business Rate multiplier is set by Welsh Government each year, for the financial year 2020-21 the multiplier is 0.535.

Local authorities collect non domestic rates but these are then pooled centrally and redistributed by Welsh Government to local authorities.

This means some authorities receive less in redistributed funds than they collect in their authority and some authorities receive more redistributed funds than they collect. In 2019/20 Bridgend council collected around £42million in business rates. Once pooled and redistributed BCBC received around £46 million from Welsh Government.

Click here to find out more about business rates in Wales 

The band D equivalent is a standard measure of council tax and is used by all local authorities and Welsh Government.

Every domestic property in the County Borough has been valued by the Valuation Office. Once valued, properties are allocated one of nine valuation bands (Bands A to I). Each band is multiplied by a given factor to bring it to the Band D equivalent. For example, one band H property is equivalent to two band D properties, because a taxpayer in a band H property pays twice as much council tax.

We are regularly asked to identify how a potential increase may impact on specific bandings. The budget consultation outlines potential council tax increases of 4.5%, 6% and 16%.

This table outlines the increase each of the weekly percentage increase amounts would have on each Council Tax band.
Band 4.5% Weekly increase 6% weekly increase 16% weekly increase
A £0.89 £1.18 £3.15
B £1.03 £1.38 £3.68
C £1.18 £1.57 £4.20
D £1.33 £1.77 £4.73
E £1.63 £2.16 £5.78
F £1.92 £2.56 £6.83
G £2.22 £2.95 £7.88
H £2.66 £3.54 £9.46
I £3.10 £4.13 £11.04

When we use the term ‘savings’ we do not mean we are taking funding away from a service and putting it aside to ‘save’. When we talk about ‘savings’ being made to a service we mean the services’ budget has been reduced. For example, if a service originally cost £10,000 to run and we now only have £8,000 to run this service then we need to make a ‘saving’ of £2,000.

Reserves are money that has been put aside to pay for something in the future or for emergencies.

There are two types of council reserves:

  1. Earmarked reserves – these are already committed to be spent. 
  2. General reserves – these are for responding to unexpected events.

The amount of general reserves would be enough to fund the council for just 50 days if all funding was to stop. Also with reserves, you can only spend them once. If they are gone, the council would be exposed to the risk that if some serious unexpected expenditure is necessary, the money just won’t be there.

Our capital budget is spent on fixed assets. That includes new buildings and major refurbishments and buying land or buildings. The capital budget can be funded from the revenue budget from Welsh Government, through borrowing (within strict parameters set by government) or from capital receipts. We can only borrow to support the capital budget and not to pay for everyday services. Capital receipts such as the sale of assets can only be used to either repay debt or to support the capital budget.

So if, for example, we were to sell Civic Offices, the money received would be a capital receipt and could only be used to redeem debt or for the capital budget. It could not be used for general running costs of social care or libraries or other services. Redeeming debt might sound like a good option, except we may have to pay significant penalties for paying off debt early.

Every new home built requires additional services to be provided, i.e. more waste to collect, more streets to maintain, more school spaces could be needed, greater demand on social services, more voters to register etc. The Welsh Government also takes into consideration how much council tax we can potentially collect when it sets our funding levels.

Consultation FAQs

A consultation is a process of information giving/gathering with residents and stakeholders during a set period of time (with a clear start and end date) and informs a decision about a new proposal, policy or service. We believe it is important for residents to have a say and how services are run and ensures that we stay in touch with what our residents need.

Bridgend County Borough Council is committed to gathering a wide range of views from as many different people and businesses from across the borough.

Following the consultation, the findings will be shared with Cabinet and Council before decisions are made on the budget in February 2021.

The consultation will run for eight weeks, from 19 October to 13 December.  The findings will be discussed at Cabinet in January 2021. The budget decisions will be implemented from the new financial year, starting in April 2021.

Council Funding FAQs

The Council gets the majority of its funding from Welsh Government through the Revenue Support Grant and a share of Non Domestic Rates. It supplements this through council tax collection.

Last year it cost around £271 million to fund all the services the council provides. The table below shows where this money came from.

This table shows where the council's funding comes from
Funding source Amount £
Revenue support grant from Welsh Government  145,354,407
Council tax 79,001,854

Share of non-domestic rates from Welsh Government

46,452,373
Total Funding 270,808,634

Around 29% of the council’s funding comes from council tax.

The Council incurs two types of expenditure – revenue expenditure and capital expenditure.

Revenue expenditure covers spending on day to day costs of services including staff salaries, maintenance of buildings and general supplies, commissioning and equipment.

Capital expenditure covers spending on assets such as roads, new schools, redevelopment schemes and the major renovation of buildings.

This table shows how revenue funding was allocated to key service areas last year
Service area Cost 
Education & Family Support 21,347,200
Schools 94,860,800
Social Services & Wellbeing 70,834,000
Communities 25,331,000
Chief Executive's 18,609,000
Council Wide Budgets 39,826,634
Total 270,808,634

Council Wide Budgets represent funding that cannot be directly attributed to any specific service group.

This includes things such as capital financing costs, corporate repairs and maintenance budgets, levies, council tax reduction scheme, apprenticeship levy, pension related costs and insurance premiums.

Welsh Government allocates money from its budget to fund all local authorities and then distributes a share of this fund to individual local authorities. The amount of Revenue Support Grant to be paid to an individual council is determined by a standard spending assessment (SSA), and then takes into account the amount of Non Domestic Rates (NDR) (also known as business rates) and the amount of council tax each authority is likely to raise.

The method by which SSAs for councils are calculated makes use of information reflecting the demographic, physical, economic and social characteristics of each area.

In 2019/20 Bridgend county borough council was awarded £192 million in aggregate external funding (Revenue Support Grant & share of Non-Domestic Rates) and ranked 16th out of 22 local authorities when comparing the increase in aggregate external funding to that received in the previous year. For more information on the funds allocated to councils in 2019/20 visit StatsWales, Welsh Government’s website for detailed statistical data for Wales.

Revenue covers the ongoing daily running costs of the council and our services. These include salaries, utility bills and other overheads, plus money paid to other organisations contracted to provide services. Revenue costs continue from year to year. This expenditure is paid for from the income received from council tax payers, business ratepayers, the fees and charges levied for certain services and from grants received from Welsh Government.

Capital spending covers spending on assets such as repairs to schools, refurbishing parks and libraries, repairing roads and investing in flood defences. These assets will provide benefits to the community for several years and the expenditure is mainly financed from borrowing, capital grants and the sale of unwanted land and buildings.

Council Tax FAQs

This table shows the breakdown of every £1 of council tax from a band D property across all Directorate/Budget Areas
Directorate/Budget Area

2020-21

Breakdown of every £1 of council tax from a band D property
Education & Family Support 7p
Schools 35p
Social Services & Wellbeing 25p
Communities 10p
Chief Executive's 6p
Council Wide Budgets 17p
Total £1

The council tax you pay contributes to all of the services Bridgend County Borough Council provides. These include:

  • recycling and waste collections
  • street lighting
  • social services
  • education
  • highways and highway maintenance
  • grass cutting in parks, playgrounds and open spaces
  • licensing
  • leisure centres
  • housing
  • planning advice

You are unable to request a discount to your council tax because, at the present moment in time, you do not access some of the services the council provides. Some services, such as education and social services, have to be provided and we all contribute towards them. In 2019/20 Bridgend county borough council tax due for collection excluding the precepts collected for other bodies such as the Police & Crime Commissioner for South Wales and local precepts was £79 million and the funding for schools alone amounted to around £94 million.

The average band D council tax for Wales for 2020-21 is £1,667. Increases in band D council tax for 2020-21 in Wales was an average of £62 or 4.6%. Last year BCBC raised council tax by 4.5%.

There are 20 town and community councils across Bridgend county borough. They provide or maintain a range of local community services. The services each town and community council delivers/maintains is different based on the needs of each individual town or community. Some of the services provided by town and community councils include: maintaining buildings and/or community centres, refurbishment of local bus shelters, provision and maintenance of flower beds, refurbishment of play areas, provision of community notice boards, maintaining footpaths, Remembrance Day events, and Halloween events for children, maintenance of local benches, Christmas decorations and many more.

Each town and community council sets a ‘precept’ each year to deliver local services, the amount of precept charged by your local town or community council is shown on your overall council tax bill. Bridgend county borough council collects the precept and then pays the town and community councils their share.

This table shows the how much a Band D Council tax amount (£) goes towards local precepts.
Local Precepts   Band D Council Tax  £
Brackla Community Council 40.45
Bridgend Town Council 107.28
Cefn Cribwr Community Council 72.81
Coity Higher Community Council 27.84
Cornelly Community Council 57.97
Coychurch Higher Community Council 31.00
Coychurch Lower Community Council 40.11
Garw Valley Community Council 52.58
Laleston Community Council 44.02
Llangynwyd Lower Community Council 53.32
Llangynwyd Middle Community Council 55.14
Maesteg Town Council 58.58
Merthyr Mawr Community Council 26.56
Newcastle Higher Community Council 28.72
Ogmore Valley Community Council 36.00
Pencoed Town Council 46.31
Porthcawl Town Council 54.80
Pyle Community Council 47.88
St Brides Minor Community Council 25.63
Ynysawdre Community Council 33.17

Town and community councillors conduct local business voluntarily and do not receive a wage. The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales outlines that each community and town council is permitted to make a payment to its members up to a maximum amount of £150 per year for costs incurred in respect of telephone usage, information technology, consumables etc. Based on the level of income or expenditure, members can also be offered payment of £500 (to a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 5 members) in recognition of specific responsibilities.

Read more information on town and community council payments on the Welsh Government website

The overall responsibility of the Police and Crime Commissioner is to maintain an effective and efficient police service by holding the Chief Constable to account. The Commissioner supports the Chief Constable in making South Wales Police the best at understanding and responding to our community’s needs, and plays a leading role in community safety and crime reduction. Duties include setting the local policing priorities, scrutinise, support and challenge the performance of the force and set the annual police budget and council tax precept.

The Police and Crime Commissioner sets a ‘precept’ each year, the amount of precept charged is shown on your overall council tax bill. Bridgend county borough council collects the precept and then pays the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office.

Find out more about the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner.

The amount of Council tax a resident pays depends on which band their property/ dwelling is in. Each dwelling is allocated to one of nine bands by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an independent agency which is not part of the council. The band the dwelling is allocated to will be based on the value of the property as at 1 April 2003. However, the VOA also assesses properties when asked to do so, such as during a Council Tax appeal or band review.

Find out more about the valuation office agency.

Properties are allocated to bands by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an independent agency which is not part of the Council. Since 2005, council tax has been calculated using nine valuation bands (bands A to I) that were established in 2005 using 2003 house values.

This table shows the number and percentage of dwellings by property band in Bridgend County in January 2020.
Band Number of dwellings % of dwelling in band
A 10,105 15.89%
B 14,910 23.44%
C 14,245 22.39%
D 10,576 16.63%
E 7,658 12.04%
F 4,299 6.76%
G 1,438 2.26%
H 278 0.44%
I 100 0.16%

In 2019/20 Bridgend council collected 96.3% of all council tax payments. We continue to work with residents who may be struggling to pay and would urge anyone who is struggling to pay to contact us. We are trying to make it easier for residents to pay their council tax by promoting My Account where you can easily pay your council tax online.

Find out more about My Account.

No, all staff have to pay council tax.

Council Tax payers on a low income, or those who receive qualifying benefits may be entitled to some help towards paying Council Tax.

You can also opt to pay your council tax over 12 months instead of 10, or as many months that remain in the year up to March 2021. If you want to change your method of payment or set up payments over 12 months.

Find out more information on what help is available for paying Council Tax.

The easiest way to pay your council tax is to sign up to My Account. My Account is a personalised service for Bridgend County Borough residents. Registering is quick and easy and all you need to get started is an email address. Using My Account to submit your forms means we receive them immediately, which saves you time and money.

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