Posted: Thu 29th Feb 2024

Torfaen council tax bills show £67 difference /

THERE will be a difference of £67 between the most and least expensive council tax bills in Torfaen this year. 
The borough council has agreed its budget for the 2024/25 financial year, which includes a 4.95 per cent increase on the amount charged for its services, which range from collecting rubbish to funding schools and social care. 
But though the £1,550.57 charge, to come in from April, makes up the bulk of the amount residents must pay to the local authority, it isn’t the total as the final figure also includes charges, known as precepts, that fund local town and community councils and Gwent Police. 
The charge for Gwent Police this year for a band D home is £349.52, which is a 7.70 per cent increase – or in actual cash terms another £25. 
The six community councils across Torfaen set their own charges to cover the costs of their various services, which can range from running events and providing some services, and meet their outgoings such as maintaining buildings. 
The highest precept has once again been set by Blaenavon Town Council, which for a band D bill works out at £98.35, while the lowest has been set at £31.32, for band D, by Henllys Community Council, which has around half the number of households as Bleanavon. 
Once the three elements of the council tax bill have been added together, Blaenavon has the highest band D bill in Torfaen at £1,998.44, which is £101.75 more than last year’s total bill.
Despite the £67.03 difference in the final band D bill between Blaenavon and Henllys, the increase on last year’s bill in the area near Cwmbran is £99.62. 
However only a handful of houses in both Blaenavon and Henllys will actually have to pay those amounts. 
That’s because there are only 151 homes in Bleanavon in band D and just 149 in Henllys. 
Of the 2,992 homes in Blaenavon most, 2,702 are in the lower bands A to C meaning all their charges are lower than the “typical” band D bill used for calculating increases. 
In contrast just over half, that is 582 of the 1,099 homes in Henllys, are in the more expensive bands E to G, with a handful in the most expensive bands H and I. 
Across Torfaen nearly half of the 43,149 homes are in bands B and C meaning their increases will be lower than the band D figures announced. 
Torfaen council has said when precepts are also included the average increase in Council Tax within the borough is 5.42 per cent. 
The band D increase for each of the six community council areas are Cwmbran £45.91; Pontypool £55.96; Blaenavon £98.35; Henllys £31.32; Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon £43.02 and Ponthir £36.50. 
The final council tax bills were approved with the council’s budget for the forthcoming financial year at its meeting on February 27. Following the meeting the Independent Group has confirmed all five of its members voted against the budget. 
At the meeting the presiding councillor, Labour’s Rose Seabourne, stated only three councillors had voted against but the group has said Cllrs Chris Tew, who represents Abersychan, and Pontypool councillor and group leader Mark Jones had voted against. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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