More cuts needed to authority's budget
Neath Port Talbot residents are facing a five per cent hike in their council tax for the next financial year.
Today's report points out the authority plans to spend £420million on services.
But it still wants to reduce its budget by £2.1million over the next year, with a further £28million needed over the next 3 years.
This is despite a provisional settlement of four and a half per cent from the Welsh Government, which is the best in 10 years.
Members of the Council's Cabinet will be asked to agree to a public consultation on the proposals when they meet later this week.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Rob Jones said: "We warmly welcome the provisional settlement of 4.5% from the Welsh Government, which is the best in 10 years. However, even with this increase we are still fighting the legacy of more than a decade of austerity. We will still need to make cuts to cover rising costs such as utilities, pay claims, the move towards the higher minimum wage and the living wage.
"In determining the Local Government settlement, the Welsh Government made an assumption that Council Tax will increase by an average of 7.1% across Wales. This Council has worked hard to keep the Council Tax increase to the lowest possible level, balanced against the need to provide services and our draft proposals include a 5% increase in Council Tax, which will be reviewed further before final decisions are taken."
"Our proposals would also see a continued investment in education, with an increase in the budget of more than 4%."
Councillor Carol Clement Williams, Cabinet Member for Finance added: "I echo the Leaders' sentiments in welcoming the Provisional Settlement from the Welsh Government. Neath Port Talbot has been prominent in lobbying for fairer funding for local government for a number of years and it is good to know that our voice has been heard.
"Whilst this is a positive outcome, we will still need to make cuts, albeit not on the scale that we have become accustomed to over the past decade.
Subject to approval from Cabinet, the consultation will commence straight after the Cabinet meeting on Friday 10th January 2020 and run until Tuesday 4th February 2020.
The Council's Budget for 2020/21, including Council tax bands for the county borough, will be set at the beginning of March 2020, following the public consultation and receipt of the Welsh Government's Final Local Government Settlement.
You can read the report on the council's websitehttp://www.npt.gov.uk under 'your council', 'councillors and committees'.