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More cuts and a 9.5 per cent Council Tax increase

 
Created on 06/02/2019 @ 08:52
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A 9.5 per cent Council Tax rise is expected to be confirmed next week when Powys councillors meet to discuss the council's pressurised budget.

Cabinet members have said they will do all they can to protect valuable services, but have warned cuts will still have to be made as part of £11.7m savings needed.

The 9.5 per cent increase does not include the confirmed increase in Newtown Town Council and Dyfed Powys Police's elements of the Council Tax or the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
 
"Meeting in Llandrindod Wells on 12 February, the cabinet will be asked to consider a budget package that contains difficult decisions but seeks to protect front line services wherever possible," said a council statement.
 
"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 residents' 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 per cent 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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