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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Council tax rise of 2.75% recommended

Members of Denbighshire’s Cabinet have agreed to recommend to full council that the proposed increase in the Denbighshire element of the council tax should be 2.75% - which is expected to be below the average across North Wales.

The proposed increase is also likely to be below the average level of increase generally across Wales.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, said: “The council is legally required to set a balanced and deliverable budget before the start of the financial year and to set the resulting level of council tax, to allow bills to be sent out to residents.

“Whilst considering and preparing to set this year’s budget, we have needed to take a number of factors into consideration.

“The final settlement from Welsh Government will see Denbighshire’s budget increase by 0.6%, slightly better than the provisional settlement.  On the face of it, the increase can be seen as good news, but  in real terms, it is a cut as it does not take into account inflation or pressures on some services.

“We have historically protected school budgets and an additional £1. 9 million is being made available for schools.  We also need to meet pressures facing social care, as well new investments in our priorities and they are all reflected in the proposed budget.

“Over recent years, the council has made a commitment to keeping council tax levels as low as possible.  At the start of this council term, Denbighshire had the third highest level of council tax in Wales. 

"Four consecutive years of below average increase has changed the position to now being the seventh or eighth highest in Wales for 2017/18.  This has resulted from the council being effective in the way that it has managed and delivered its budgets over recent years. As a result, no further savings are required from services for 2017/18, other than ones already committed."

The final budget will be agreed by full council on January 31st.

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