Council bosses say that they’ve listened to Carmarthenshire residents and cut the annual rise in Carmarthenshire’s council tax for the financial year 2021/22.

A public consultation on budget proposals for 2021/22 has convinced the council that tax increases should be kept as small as possible due to the ongoing pressures from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Plaid/Independent administration in County hall is now proposing a 3.95% rise instead of the 4.89% and 4.48% previously discussed.

The budget will not be set until a meeting of full council is held next week. 

Cllr David Jenkins, executive board member for resources held a meeting which also discussed scrapping plans for a £70,000 cut in road gulley cleaning.

County hall is believed to be planning a trim of £100,000 from the road surface dressing budget instead of the £300,000 it had previously discussed.

Councillor Cefin Campbell said that investment was needed in rural roads and welcomed the new road budget proposals.

Alongside the public consultation, cross-party council scrutiny committees have also been going through council spending plans and making their own recommendations.

It’s anticipated that Carmarthenshire County Council’s net revenue budget will be somewhere around £387.1 million in 2021-22, social services and education account for just over 70% of this amount.

County hall has plans to make ‘internal managerial savings’ of £2.5 million in 2021/22, which it has already said shouldn’t impact delivery of its services.

Carmarthenshire, like most councils across the country, faces serious financial pressures like wage increases and inflationary costs. 

Council leader Emlyn Dole said after the meeting: “We are very conscious of the struggles people are facing at the moment.

“We have worked hard to adjust our budget proposals so that we can continue our focus on critical services as well as minimising the impact on residents as far as possible.”