A decision by a community council to raise its share of the tax bill by 48 per cent to help fund a village's new community centre more than six miles away has not gone down well among its neighbours.

Llanedi Community Council is constructing the new community centre on the site of the old cricket club in Hendy.

But the decision by the council to hike its precept by 48 per cent to help fund the project, on top of a 20 per cent rise last year, has been met with frustration in Tycroes, which is more than six miles away and where locals are less likely to use the new centre.

A Tycroes resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I think the precept should have been graded or reduced in places that are not likely to use this centre. 

“Tycroes is Ammanford not Pontarddulais/Hendy. It would have been fairer to keep it at 20 per cent, the same as last year. Or to let us know what we would be paying for and give our opinion. Not just put it up so much.

“Back in October 2023 it was reported that the Hendy Community Centre was nearly complete. The Llanedi council had received grants to build and renovate the cricket club into the centre so why the increase now?"

Geraint Rhys Jones, chair of Llanedi Community Council, said: “Llanedi Community Council is in the process of constructing a new community centre at the old Cricket Club in Hendy.

“The budget for the construction contract is a sum of over £1m pounds with a significant amount of this being provided from grant aid, however the council has had to borrow a sum of £523,000 over a 20-year period to finance the project.

“The project was conceived a few years ago with money being allocated to a fund every year by the Council, as the Council’s contribution to match funding any grant applications.

"This was seen as a way of minimising any impact on the council’s precept upon the commencement of the project."

South Wales Guardian: Hendy Community Centre is set to open in the coming weeks

Mr Jones added: “Unfortunately, the impact of Covid and subsequent inflationary increase resulted in the tenders for the construction of the project being higher than what was originally budgeted.

"Unfortunately, this has resulted in the need for the council to utilise its reserves to cover the overspend and there is now a need for the reserves to be replaced through an increased precept. 

“We have minimised rises over the last three years in a bid to help with the cost of living crisis, however with council overheads being impacted by inflationary pressures, inevitably this has also resulted in a need to increase the precept.

“The council is aware of the feelings of local residents regarding the increase in the precept and has made significant savings in other budget areas to mitigate the need for the increase in the precept.”