Council formally approves council tax

Councillors in Denbighshire have formally set the council tax for the next financial year with an increase of 2.75% in the Denbighshire element of the council tax - expected to be below the average increase across North Wales.

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

The Council has also received confirmation of the precepts for the city, town and community councils, as well as the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales. Taking these into account means an increase of 2.94% for Denbighshire residents. The council tax (based on a Band D property)  will rise from £1,444.75 in 2016/17 to £1,487.18 in 2017/18.

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.

“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 budget.

“Over recent years we have 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. 

“The Council has worked tirelessly on its approach to the budget setting process. Whilst the financial climate has been tough and jobs have been lost from the authority, there has been very little impact on our key services, and that has been intentional. We have taken steps to be more efficient in the way that we work, including reducing the number of our key office accommodation from 10 to 4 buildings.  All services have also identified efficiency savings.  As a result, no further savings are required from services for 2017/18, other than ones already committed.

“Despite this approach, we are also proud that we have continued investing in facilities such as leisure centres, libraries, schools, as well as social care and the corporate priorities, as we believe that continued investment is benefitting  the health and well-being of our residents and our communities”. 

Posted on Wednesday 15th February 2017