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Ceredigion households face £2,100 average council tax bill

CEREDIGION council tax-payers will be facing bills of over £2,000 and as high as £2,200 a year for the average property if a recommendation to increase council tax by 11.1 per cent is backed next week.

The full council meeting of Ceredigion County Council, to be held on February 29, is recommended to back a Cabinet-supported increase in council tax of 11.1 per cent, against a budget requirement of £193.572m.

This increase, expected to be the second-highest by percentage in Wales after neighbouring Pembrokeshire, would take the basic level for a Band D average property to £1,726.05, up from £1,553.60.

Additions to this bill include the individual town and community council bills, and the Dyfed-Powys Police precept, set at £332.03 for a Band D property, but ranging from £221.35 for an ‘A’ property to £774.74 for an ‘I’ property.

This represents an overall increase, taking the three elements into account, of 10.25 per cent, the average community or town council increasing by 9.12 per cent, and the police precept by 6.2 per cent.

The average Band D total for the county, taking in all three factors would be £2,103.89, with Aberystwyth the highest at £2,209.66, and Nantcwnlle the lowest at £2,064.64.

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The direct expected costs for Ceredigion highlighted in the proposed 24/25 budget (Pic: Ceredigion County Council report)

A report for members says the 2024-’25 budget is “Ceredigion County Council’s starkest budget yet,” with “incredibly difficult and unpalatable budget choices”.

“The estimated revenue cost pressures being faced by the council for 24/25 total £18m, equivalent to a Ceredigion-specific inflation factor of 10 per cent. This compares with general inflation running at four per cent.

“A budget shortfall of £14m has needed to be found from a combination of budget reductions and council tax increase considerations.

“Councillors have therefore had to face incredibly difficult and unpalatable budget choices as part of weighing up how and where to reduce the cost of council services, alongside considering the appropriate level of funding to be raised through council tax.”

It said balancing the budget “has been an unenviable task,” with 70 budget reduction proposals in addition to the council tax increase.

One financial challenge faced by Ceredigion is an increase in the Mid & West Wales Fire Authority levy of £584,000, the equivalent of 1.1 per cent on the Band D Council Tax bill alone.

As part of the budget settlement, it is recommended that 75 per cent of money raised from the council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties be used to support the general budget position.

Your town

Total Band D rates for Ceredigion towns, at the 11.1 per cent increase proposed, include: Aberystwyth, £2,209.66; Aberaeron, £2,116.32; New Quay £2,103.08; Cardigan £2,106.04; Tregaron £2,102.48; Llandysul £2,097.80; and Lampeter £2,100.72.

As an extreme, the highest Band I total rate in Aberystwyth would be £5,155.88, and the lowest Band A in Nantcwnlle £ 1,376.42.

Ceredigion had previously faced a rise of 13.9 per cent, backed by Cabinet in January before a later Cabinet proposal this month for 11.1 per cent.

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