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Powys proposes 9.5% Council Tax rise

 
Created on 05/02/2019 @ 21:20
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Council tax payers, already reeling from huge increases from Welshpool Town Council and Dyfed-Powys Police announced in January, are now expected to be paying an extra 9.5% on their Powys County Council (PCC) slice from April.

The whopping increase, which would add almost £10 a month to the bill of an average Band D property, will be discussed by Powys County Council’s cabinet next week. Across the border, Shropshire is only introducing a 3.99% rise.

According to a PCC press release, the cabinet will be asked on Tuesday to consider a budget package that contains difficult decisions but seeks to protect front line services wherever possible.

The package will see a smaller senior management structure and other reductions in the council’s running costs totalling £4.5m towards a budget savings requirement of £11.74m.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Aled Davies said: “I am recommending a budget strategy that seeks to support key services such as children and adult services as well as schools while doing all that we can to protect other services. However, the proposed council tax increase is 9.5%. 

“The council has been in the unenviable position of having the poorest settlement in Wales in nine out of the last 10 years, leaving the council in a difficult financial position. We have to fund key services and ensure we support children in need and vulnerable adults, whether in their own homes or in our care, and we have to invest in education.

“With schools and social care dominating our budget, the pressure on remaining services is greater than ever. This year’s budget has been the hardest faced by the council when seeking to balance service provision with resident’s ability to pay.

“Throughout the process our priority has been to maximise efficiencies, reducing our running costs where possible, this will mean a reduction in staff in many areas and pressure on others to reduce the level of provision.

“Along with the budget saving proposals we are recommending a 9.5% increase in the level of council tax. This will add around £9.41p a month to the average Band D council tax bill. The figure does not include increases in the Dyfed Powys Police charge or that from town and community councils.

“We know the increase will be a challenge for some but it is the minimum we could recommend to protect vital services,” he added.

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