Pembrokeshire County Council meeting to discuss potential council tax rise of up to 21%

  • Report by ITV's West Wales reporter, Lewis Rhys Jones

Residents in Pembrokeshire could face a 21% hike in their council tax for the forthcoming financial year, which could cost an average household nearly £300 more a year.

Cabinet members at Pembrokeshire County Council will meet on Monday morning, 12 February, to discuss and recommend three possible options for a council tax increase.

These range from 16.31%, 18.94% and a 20.98% hike.

The local authority currently has the lowest basic Band D Council Tax in Wales, at £1,342.86 a year for 2023-24, but latest proposed increases could see that go up to £1,624.69 for 2024-25.

Pembrokeshire is currently facing a projected funding gap of £31.9m, partly due to a lower-than-expected Provisional Local Government Settlement.

Despite the proposed council tax rises, a report before the county council's cabinet members warned that challenging cuts to council expenditure would still have to be made. The areas affected range from social care and schools to bin collections and road maintenance.

Pembrokeshire Council say no final decision will be taken until 7 March at a full council meeting.

The level of cuts made will depend on which option the authority vote for next month. Here's how services and expenditure could be affected:

  • 20.98% increase - Require £9.3m of budget savings, and £0.2m of reserves. The loss of 19 staff, 1% reduction of school budgets, closure of 2 older persons day centres, reduced library hours plus an increase in a number of fees and charges.

  • 18.94% increase - Require £10.9m of budget savings, and £0.6m of reserves. Plus a reduction of routine highway maintenance, closure of two learning disability Day Centres, closure of St David’s waste and recycling centre, the closure of two learning disability day centres and a loss of another 13 staff.

  • 16.31% increase - £12.8m of budget savings, and use of £0.6m of reserves. Significant impact to service delivery. Bin collections reduced to every 4 weeks, complete closure of all adult care older person’s day centres, an extra 1% cut to school budgets and further 15 jobs to go in support services.

The final decision on council tax will be made by full council on the 7th of March.

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