Wales

Council tax to rise by 4% in Neath Port Talbot

Council tax bill Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Balancing the budget was "getting harder every year", council leader Rob Jones said

Councillors in Neath Port Talbot have approved a budget with a council tax increase of 4% and savings of £5.8m.

Leisure centres and the arts face funding cuts while charges are being increased for car parks, burials, pest control and sports field maintenance.

Plans to close four libraries have been shelved amid public opposition.

Almost £2.3m will be taken out of reserves to help balance the budget, which council leader Rob Jones said was "getting harder every year".

The Labour-led authority had a 0.7% increase in Welsh Government funding for 2019/20.

Council tax on a Band D property will go up by just under £60 to £1,556.59, although there will be extra charges for the police and areas served by community councils.

Despite savings across all departments, Mr Jones told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the authority was still investing in large capital projects.

This includes spending £350,000 on a new Aqua Splash attraction on Aberavon seafront and £250,000 to support the Cefn Coed Colliery Museum.

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