EXTRA budget savings in children’s placements will see a final council tax rise for Ceredigion residents of 11.02 per cent, a report has outlined.

The Cambrian News had reported that scrutiny committee members, meeting all last week, heard that a near 14 per cent rise in council tax for Ceredigion residents could be cut down to just under 12 per cent after extra funding was secured and more savings made.

At the Thriving Communities committee on Friday, 9 February, Finance Director Duncan Hall told members that a combination of extra Welsh Government funding – which took the uplift in funding from 2.6 per cent to 2.9 per cent – plus a Cabinet proposal to decide on new waste transport contracts on 20 February, will mean that a proposed 13.9 per cent council tax rise can be cut.

Mr Hall told members that planned new contracts for waste transport will save £300,000 if approved, while the restoration of a planned Welsh Government cut to the social care workforce grant will be worth £253,000 to Ceredigion - along with a general uplift in funding of £343,000.

The additional Welsh Government funding follows the UK Government announcing it would be increasing its local government settlement by £600m in England, leading to an extra £25m being allocated to local government in Wales.

The circa £900,000 extra available budget will mean the council tax rise can fall to 11.9 per cent, Mr Hall told members.

Now, in fresh papers to be put before Cabinet members on Tuesday as the Cambrian News went to press, a further saving of £395,000 has been identified in children’s placements.

The report says the new figures result in a proposed 2024/25 budget requirement of £193.546m.

“For core council services this would result in a proposed council tax increase for county council purposes of 9.95 per cent,” the report says.

“However due to the significant financial pressure resulting from the Fire Service’s levy, it will be necessary to add a further 1.1 per cent council tax increase to be able to fully fund this aspect.

“Consequently, the overall proposed total council tax increase is 11.05 per cent.”

The latest proposal means an average Band D property in Ceredigion would be paying a basic council tax level of £1,725.27, up from the current £1,553.60.

The recommendations from the various scrutiny committees will be discussed for final recommendations by Cabinet members on Tuesday, 20 February.

The final decision on the draft budget will be made at a full council meeting on 29 February.