Posted: Thu 25th Feb 2016

Caerphilly agrees lowest council tax rise /
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 25th, 2016

Caerphilly county borough council has set the lowest council tax increase in Wales at just 1%. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The authority approved its 2016/17 budget on Wednesday 24th February and the Leader of Council pledged that the Caerphilly will continue to work hard to protect services, protect staff and protect the vulnerable in the community. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Members agreed the 1% increase, which is less than the 3.9% increase that was originally forecast. This equates to just 13p extra per week for a ‘Band A’ property and 15p for a ‘Band B’ property. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Keith Reynolds, Leader of Council said, “This is a fair, well thought out budget that puts local people first and protects frontline services. Caerphilly is navigating its way through these difficult financial times thanks to our strategic approach to budget management and the support of a dedicated workforce who are all pulling together to make savings and deliver quality services.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Barbara Jones, Deputy Leader of Council added, “The provisional Local Government settlement, announced at the end of last year, was much better than we expected with Caerphilly receiving a 0.9% reduction in funding for 2016/17. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We have honoured the School Pledge and have set aside funding for anticipated cost pressures in Social Care. The School Pledge amounts to £1.9million per annum and a sum of £2.5million per annum has been committed to Social Services.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Savings amounting to £11.1million have been agreed and of these, over £8.5million will have no impact on front line services. These savings have been achieved through vacancy management, staff structure reviews, budget realignment and minor changes to service delivery. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A major 12 week consultation process was carried out at the end of last year when the council asked people across the area for their views about the budget proposals. Ten public ‘drop in sessions’ took place allowing local people to discuss the impact of the proposed savings and a questionnaire was widely circulated to capture feedback from a range of stakeholder groups. This feedback has been instrumental in informing the budget-setting process. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We are not out of the woods yet as there are still significant savings still to found over the next few years, but we are doing our best to limit the impact on our residents” said Cllr Keith Reynolds. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Full details about the 16/17 budget proposals can be found in the Council Budget section. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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