Ceredigion school funding pledge with 7% council tax rise

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Pupils listening to a storyImage source, Ridofranz/Getty Images
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Schools have to meet the costs of higher teachers' pay and pensions

Extra money will be raised to protect school budgets in Ceredigion after councillors backed a 7% tax increase.

The Plaid Cymru/Independent ruling coalition revised its plan for a 5% hike after feedback on budget plans.

Council leader Ellen ap Gwynn said: "We want to invest in the future of our children and our county."

Ceredigion faces finding another £6m of savings next year on top of £39m cut in recent years.

The £144m budget and 7% council tax increase for 2019-20 was approved by a meeting of the full council in Aberaeron.

It means residents with a Band D property will see their annual council tax bill go up by £86 to just over £1,312, plus police and community council charges.

Schools will be given an extra £668,000 to ensure they can meet the rising costs of teachers' pay and pensions.

Council leader Ellen ap Gwynn said the higher rate of council tax was needed to reduce the impact of cuts.

"A successful Ceredigion in the future needs well-funded and well run schools," she said.

"We want to invest in the future of our children and our county."

"The reality is that the council is getting less money from the Welsh Government at a time when costs and demand for services are rising," the leader added.

"If council tax had not increased, we would have to make deeper cuts."

Ceredigion is one of nine Welsh councils getting a cash increase from the Welsh Government for 2019-20, but its 0.3% increase is still below the rate of inflation.

However, the Welsh Government said it had offered councils "the best settlement possible in this ninth year of austerity".

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