Plaid Slams Labour-run ‘Monopoly’ Council Reserves Topping £230m – UP £52m in ONE Year

Plaid Cymru councillors have slated Caerphilly Council after it was revealed its usable reserves have risen to £232m – up more than £50m in just a single year.

The figures were revealed in the council’s annual accounts for the last financial year – 2021-22. Cardiff, a much bigger authority, posted reserves of £205m at the end of March 2022.

Councillor  Lindsay Whittle, leader of the Plaid Cymru group on Caerphilly council, said: “It is staggering that Caerphilly Council keeps on building and building reserves for a rainy day. I’ve got a message for them it’s absolutely chucking it down and people are struggling, really struggling, in this cost of living crisis.

“Quite how the Labour group can propose an increase of 7.9% in council tax when everyone is facing much higher food and energy bills. I want to see zero increase in bills for 12 months.

“Caerphilly Council is hoarding £28m more than neighbouring Cardiff, which is a much larger authority. They are taking the public for fools, pleading financial problems, yet hoarding an extra £50m in one year.

“At the end of the 2018-19 financial year usable reserves stood at £118m which rose to £139m in April 202o, so in three years reserves have doubled. What is going on? They are playing Monopoly with taxpayers hard earned cash. They should go to jail, never pass GO and certainly not collect £200m.”

Councillor Lindsay Whittle said that there should be an all-party investigation into the amount and use of usable reserves.

Councillor Colin Mann, who has been raising the issue for several years, said: “I have never been convinced that Caerphilly County needs what I feel is an obscene level of reserves.

“Many people feel that taking this money from residents and then sitting on it is taking money under false pretences. A reasonable level of reserves is certainly justified but does the council really need more than £230m.”

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