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RESIDENTS in Blaenau Gwent are being asked for their views as the council prepares its budget proposals for the year ahead.

A council budget questionnaire has been launched as the authority gathers views on priorities and the level of council tax being considered.

The questionnaire asks residents how acceptable a four per cent increase in council tax would be.

This would amount to paying an extra £0.87 per week for band A households and £1.02 per week for band B households, but no formal proposal has been put forward yet.

Draft budget proposals for the upcoming financial year will be considered by council in early March.

A provisional settlement from the Welsh Government will increase Blaenau Gwent’s budget by 3.6 per cent, providing the council with an extra £4.2-million in funding above initial budget estimates.

The council says the position for 2021/22 projects “a balanced budget for councillors to consider, with no cuts to services”

Council leader Cllr Nigel Daniels said the settlement from Welsh Government for next year was “welcome news at the end of probably our most challenging year ever”.

“I am pleased that we have been able to put forward a set of proposals that will see no major service changes as we focus on our key priorities,” Cllr Daniels said.

“The proposed budget protects vital services and provides helps us plan for a sustainable future as we recover from the demands of dealing with Covid-19.

“The role and work of local government staff in our communities have been vital this year and we have been able to maintain services valued by local residents as well as going the extra mile to protect our most vulnerable residents.

“I’m pleased the 2021/22 draft budget continues to demonstrate our commitment to improving services for all residents in Blaenau Gwent and building financial resilience for the demands of future years.”

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