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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Denbighshire approves 3.8% council tax rise

Denbighshire County Council has approved the draft budget for the 2023/24 financial year.

At a Full Council meeting on January 31, the draft budget which includes raising Council Tax by 3.8%, was put forward for recommendation from members. Full Council approved the final report.

As part of the budget process the Council’s draft settlement announced by Welsh Government indicates Denbighshire’s funding from Welsh Government will increase by 8.2% for the 2032/24 financial year, compared to the Welsh average of 7.9%.

The draft settlement includes a slightly increased indicative average settlement increases of 3.0% for 2024/25. 

The Final Settlement is expected in early March but Welsh Government have indicated that there should be very few changes. 

The funding comes with a number of responsibilities the Council are required to fund, including pay increases and ensuring the Real Living Wage for social care workers. 

Although the funding announcement is welcome the Council is having to fund £25.116m of pressures including the impact of price and energy inflation and cost pressures in key areas such as social care. 

The Council therefore still had a funding gap of £10.885m to fill for the coming financial year.

Proposals to fill this gap include savings in the Capital Financing Budget amounting to £1.067m and an increase in Council Tax of 3.8%. 

The proposed Council Tax increase level is at the lower end of indicative increases across Wales. It is also lower than the average of 4.35% over the last four years.

Councillor Gwyneth Ellis, Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets, said: “The Council has come to the end of the budget process for the 2023/24 financial year.

“It comes after a difficult year dealing with the cost of living impact and energy price rises, which has put an additional strain on resources. 

“We have taken a balanced approach to this year’s budget which aimed to recognise and remedy service pressures in order to build resilience, to make sure services were challenged to deliver efficient services and to minimise the impact of proposals on services users while keeping the proposed Council Tax increases as low as practicable. 

“The Council in this current climate is extremely committed to supporting our residents by protecting the services they value and expect as much as possible. 

“We have worked hard to be efficient and effective as possible, reducing our budgets and making savings by adapting better ways of working.”

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