South West Wales

Pressure on Pembrokeshire council to reduce tax rise

Tenby Harbour Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Council tax for Band D properties in Pembrokeshire is £1,128

Two senior Pembrokeshire councillors have both suggested to BBC Wales that there may be an attempt at compromise on proposed council tax rises.

The opposition members said there would be pressure on the full council to reduce the planned rise of 12.5% to 8%.

Pembrokeshire County Council's cabinet agreed to recommend the full council approve a 12.5% rise for 2018-19.

The final decision over council tax increases is due to be made at a meeting on 8 March.

A public consultation into the proposed council tax is still continuing with potential increases of 5%, 8% and 12.5% all options.

Responding to the suggestion of a compromise, cabinet finance member Bob Kilmister said: "If the council were to opt for an 8% tax rise next year we would have to do so for a minimum of four years to make the step change that is required.

"In addition the cuts to council services this year would be much more substantial than currently planned".

Image copyright Pembrokeshire County Council
Image caption A final decision on tax rises is due to be made by the full council on March 8th

Cabinet members heard on Monday that a 12.5% increase for Band D properties - a rise of £110.39 per year - would still mean that Pembrokeshire had the lowest council tax in Wales.

A detailed report by the council's finance director, Jon Haswell, suggested that Pembrokeshire had been £15m worse off last year due to its current tax levels being below the Wales average.

Excluding funding for community councils and the police, the county is left with £883 from the tax.

The highest band D council tax bill is £1,754 in Blaenau Gwent, while the Welsh average is £1,420.

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