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HOUSEHOLDERS in Wrexham could face a council tax rise of four per cent, despite the local authority receiving a funding boost from central government.

The proposed increase will be discussed by executive board members at a meeting on Tuesday (February 8, 2022). It will then need to be formally approved at a full council meeting later this month.

Wrexham Council was handed a 9.4 per cent increase in its provisional settlement from the Welsh Government, which was announced in December.

It was allocated the seventh highest uplift out of the 22 local authorities in Wales for the next financial year, taking its total funding up to £207m.

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However, council leader Mark Pritchard said the announcement also imposed extra cost pressures, including a move by the devolved government to pay social care staff the “real living wage” of £9.90 an hour.

In addition, it’s expected teachers and other school staff will be handed an increase in their salary, although the amount has yet to be decided.

Cllr Pritchard also said members of the ruling independent/Conservative administration wanted to put more money into children’s social care due to a significant increase in demand on the service.

He highlighted that the proposed hike was less than the rises of 6.95 per imposed for each of the last two years.

Speaking at a media briefing this week, he said:

“I’m really pleased that the decision has been made by the coalition to keep council tax low within Wrexham.

“We’ve worked really hard on it and we’re announcing that council tax will be set at four per cent.

“I also want to announce with regard to some areas where money will be invested.

“We’ve agreed to put an extra funding stream into Citizens Advice, which is an extra £30,000 a year to help them support our constituents of Wrexham who are finding things extremely difficult.

“We’re going to put an extra £30,000 into music services and we’re also looking to take away the charges for blue badges in Wrexham.”

Additional money will also be given to the council’s public protection department to ensure houses in multiple occupation meet the required standards.

The authority has received an indication from the government of the level of funding increases it will receive in the following two years, which Cllr Pritchard said would be lower than the current uplift.

The council leader was asked whether he was concerned the council tax increase could add to the financial pressure families are facing due to rising fuel prices and energy bills.

He responded that the administration had tried to keep the figure as low as possible, whilst balancing the need to keep frontline services running.

He said: “We didn’t want to set the council tax at two or three per cent and then we have to make cuts and redundancies and reduce services.

“We have to understand that people are not happy with a council tax increase, but we worked hard to reduce it.

“There has to be a sustainable service within Wrexham and across all the authorities in Wales.

“In an ideal world, if the Welsh Government gave us a fantastic settlement every year, we wouldn’t really have to raise the council tax to some levels.”


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