Newport's 6.95% council tax hike 'to invest in services'

Council tax bill Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The increase proposed for Newport is nearly five times the rate of inflation, currently 1.4%

Residents of Newport are facing a council tax hike of 6.95% after spending plans for the coming year were finalised.

The rise - between £1 and £1.33 a week - is one of the highest planned percentage increases in Wales.

The authority plans to spend an extra £1.4m on schools, plus more on the city centre, regeneration and fostering.

Labour council leader Jane Mudd said Newport council tax bills would still be among the lowest in Wales.

The city council has been promised the biggest increase in Welsh Government funding of any Welsh local authority, with a rise of 5.4%.

Tory group leader Matthew Evans described the increase as "a massive kick in the teeth for residents".

"We had the largest settlement in Wales so I thought it would be an opportunity to significantly reduce the council tax increase," he said.

Ms Mudd said the authority had made changes to its budget plans in response to public consultation, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"Our rates remain low overall and the increases allow us to invest in services," she said.

Initial plans to cut home to college transport have been scrapped, along with proposed cuts to Barnardo's family support services.

Other budget proposals which remain include introducing black bag sorting at the Docks Way tip to improve recycling, and a reduction in funding to Gwent Music Service.

The plans will go to a full council meeting later in February.

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