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Anglesey Council plans to raise council tax by 5% – one of lowest in North Wales

ANGLESEY council has agreed plans to set a council tax increase of five per cent – one of the lowest in North Wales.

The figure would take Anglesey County Council’s  Band D charge to £1,435.86, an increase of £68.40, or £1.32 per week.

The figures came during a meeting of the council executive today (Thursday, March 2) where a ‘prudent budget’ was set.

On Thursday, March 9, the full council will be asked to adopt the proposed final budget of £172.548m and the council tax hike.

It will also be asked to back a rise on  second homes council tax premiums from 50% to 75%, while the empty property council tax premium will stay at 100%.

The council also dipped into its £3.7m  reserves in the face of “continuing financial challenges” amid the cost-of-living crisis.

The full council will also be asked to use reserves, to meet a possible 7.0% pay increase for council staff in 2023/24 rather than face cuts.

The final budget proposals for 2023/24 include services cuts of more than £700,000.

The council said that rising energy costs and inflation; greater service demands; a potential pay increase for staff and less funding from Welsh Government in years to come are set to impact the 2023/24 budget.

Finance portfolio holder Cllr Robin Williams said there was “sadly, no magic hat we can use to pull out more money”.

The island’s local authority still faced “significant financial challenges” which were “far from over”, he said.

“It is only through being prudent and with careful financial management that we can ensure a balanced budget this year,” said Cllr Williams.

“With our financial position unlikely to improve next year either, we face even greater challenges ahead.

“We will continue the approach of utilising a sensible mix of efficiency savings, careful use of reserves and small increases in Council Tax.

“This is the correct and proper way to ensure that the County Council continues to deliver vital front-line services and that burden of delivering a balanced budget does not weigh too heavily on the island’s residents.”

Council leader Cllr Llinos Medi said: “We have already spent a decade trying to defend local residents and communities in the face of severe funding cuts.

“We face significant financial challenges in both 2023/24 and 2024/25, with costs still expected to rise due to inflation and increased service demand.

“Unfortunately, there is little prospect that the funding we receive from Welsh Government, via the UK Government, will be enough to cover all of these increases in costs.

“My executive believe this is a budget which will allow us to protect front-line services; as well as meet the growing demand on Adults’ and Children’s Services and homelessness prevention.

“I am well aware of the impact the increase in inflation, interest and borrowing rates, and mortgage costs are having on the people of Anglesey, communities, organisations and businesses.

“Our proposed increase would ensure our council tax bill remains the lowest in North Wales and one of the lowest throughout Wales.
“We have used more of our reserves to ensure the increase is kept as low as possible.”

She added the budget would continue to protect front-line services, and “safeguard some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”