RESIDENTS in the Vale of Glamorgan face a council tax hike from April – but proposed parking charges are to be dropped.

Vale residents will pay a 4.9 per cent increase on their council tax bills after councillors agreed a budget of £226m on March 8.

The budget was passed at an emergency meeting after the Conservative administration’s original proposals were voted down by four of its own councillors along with Labour and Plaid Cymru.

The Tory leadership was defied again as rebel councillors – including former Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies – along with with 11 other Conservatives, including cabinet member Gordon Kemp, abstained on voting for the amended budget negotiated with Labour.

Cllr Neil Moore, Labour leader on the council, said Labour opposed the budget to “make a stance about the ‘mismanagement of the budgets’ since the Conservatives have been in control of the council”.

Cllr Moore, along with Labour councillor Lis Burnett, met the leadership of the council and negotiated an amended budget.

An additional £100,000 has been put aside for supporting bus services in and around Penarth and Llandough Hospital, and funding will be given to the community project at St Paul’s Church in Penarth.

Labour also demanded proposals to bring on-street parking charges to towns in the Vale for the first time be dropped and a fund set aside to refurbish Victorian schools.

The Welsh Government has upped its funding for the 21st Century Schools Programme to cover 65 per cent of the costs of schemes, which means an extra £11.3m the Vale council was going to put towards the programme – including £5.8m from developers’ contributions and land sales – has been released.

Cllr Moore, speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after the meeting, said he was “confident” parking charges would be dropped and “at least some, if not all” of the £5.8m would be allocated to Victorian schools not covered by the programme.

Labour has also called for a reprieve and review of replacements of Victorian lampposts in Penarth and an equal geographic distribution of Strong Communities grant funding across the Vale.

Vale residents still face a 4.9 per cent increase from April 1 – which means Band D properties would pay £1,245.06 in the next financial year, an extra £58.

Councillors set funding for Learning and Skills at £105m. The budget for social services was £65m. Some £30m was allocated for environment and housing services, including waste collection and road maintenance.

The remaining £4m will be spent on planning and regeneration and various functions required for all council services.

The savings target for the council is £3.8m including schools. It follows savings of £55m made since 2010.

Councillor Thomas said after the meeting: “We have set a budget that will enable us to continue to deliver services befitting of the highest performing local authority in Wales.

“Demand for these services, especially education and social care, continues to rise, along with the cost of delivering them. We are not, however, simply passing these costs onto residents.”