Shaping Bridgend's Future 2021 Survey
Previous budget consultations have focused on specific service provisions, but this year we want to engage with residents on a longer term vision for Bridgend County Borough.
The impact of Covid-19 meant that in 2020 and 2021 we have had to deliver things very differently, and are asking residents to support us in Shaping Bridgend’s Future.
Despite the challenges the council has faced in responding to the Covid-19 we have also been presented with new ways of working and built on opportunities to work with partner organisations, we have increased digitalisation of some of our services, and seen a large number of or staff working from home. We need to know what has worked well, and where we need to continue to make changes or improvements as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that the council are able to deliver sustainable and effective services for the next five to ten years.
Potential savings are considered and the council has made £62m of savings over the last 10 years. Given the savings already made it becomes increasingly difficult to identify potential areas for reductions as pressure grows on services and additional demands emerge.
To help Council and Cabinet to make decisions about future spending it is important to hear your views, to ensure that we deliver effective and efficient services that are right for our communities.
This year as part of this budget planning process we want to hear your views on:
- performance over the past 12 months;
- support for Business, Tourism and the economy;
- customer face-to-face access
- investment in services:
- fees and charges;
- council Tax levels;
- 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 20 September 2021 and close on the 14 November 2021. You can respond or ask further questions in the following ways:
Alternative formats are also available upon request.
Projected timetable for procedure and proposal implementation:
|Response deadline||14 November 2021|
|Report to Cabinet on the outcomes of the consultation||14 December 2021|
Don’t forget you can still have your say on improving council services by clicking here to join our Citizens’ Panel.
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;
- 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
- Emotional Health & Behaviour
Funding is allocated directly to schools which is then spent in areas such as:
- Youth leaders
- Agency staff
- Repairs and maintenance
- Maintenance of grounds
- Equipment, Materials & Furniture
- Communications / Computing
- Printing, Stationery, Etc.
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
- Regeneration and development
- Highways And Fleet
- Transport & Engineering
- Parks & Open Spaces
- Street Scene Management & Admin
- Facilities management
- Strategic Asset Management
- Capital Design & Delivery
- Internal Audit
- HR and Organisational Development
- Housing and Community Regeneration
- Legal Services
- Democratic Services
- Regulatory Services
- 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.
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.
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%.
|Band||4.5% Weekly increase||6% weekly increase||16% weekly increase|
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:
- Earmarked reserves – these are already committed to be spent.
- 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.
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.
|Funding source||Amount £|
|Revenue support grant from Welsh Government||145,354,407|
Share of non-domestic rates from Welsh Government
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.
|Education & Family Support||21,347,200|
|Social Services & Wellbeing||70,834,000|
|Council Wide Budgets||39,826,634|
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.
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
2020-21Breakdown of every £1 of council tax from a band D property
|Education & Family Support||7p|
|Social Services & Wellbeing||25p|
|Council Wide Budgets||17p|
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
- highways and highway maintenance
- grass cutting in parks, playgrounds and open spaces
- leisure centres
- 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.
|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.
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.
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.
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.
|Band||Number of dwellings||% of dwelling in band|
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.
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.
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.