Anglesey councillors to decide on 4.5% tax hike

Councillors will decide next week whether to approve a 4.5% increase in council tax on Anglesey.

The proposed increase is down slightly on the 5% originally recommended as part of the county council’s plans for its annual budget, but is still above inflation.

The council says the hike is needed to further protect schools and adult social care services on the island, despite a ‘better than expected’ settlement from the Welsh Government.

Councillor Robin Williams, the council executive’s member for finance, said: ”This year’s settlement only puts the council on a par with the level of grant we received in 2012/13. In real terms, that is a reduction of £19m in our grant from Welsh Government.”

”We are a position where we can balance the budget without making any significant cuts to services, but we must still raise council tax higher than inflation as the Welsh Government’s settlement just isn’t enough.”

Last December, the Welsh Government announced a provisional 3.8% increase for Ynys Môn, bringing core grant spending up to £101 million.

But Mr Williams said their refusal to implement a funding floor meant local authorities were losing out ”year after year”.

He added: ”Despite an increase, Anglesey’s settlement of 3.8% was still one of the lowest in Wales. Had we been on a par with our nearest neighbours, Gwynedd with 4.6%, we would have had an additional £800,000 to invest in services or propose a much lower increase in council tax, of around 2.5%.”

A public consultation on the budget proposals has been held with a final decision on the tax increase due when the full council meets next Tuesday (10th March).

Council leader Llinos Medi said the authority was still facing ”intense budget pressures in adult services and schools” along with ”ever increasing costs”.

She added: ”Unfortunately, one improved year for local government funding will do little to paper over the cracks of the lack of investment seen over many years.”

”The executive’s budget proposals, I believe, will ensure that we are making the most of the limited funding we have to safeguard vital services under pressure and meet our long term priorities for the island and its residents.”

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