Posted on: Tuesday 28 February 2023
Today, Torfaen councillors approved the final budget proposals for 2023/24 and set council tax at 1.95 per cent for the second consecutive year. The report, which was unanimously supported, set out:
- support for nearly ten thousand homes through the Council Tax Reduction scheme
- £4.3 million or 6.2% extra funding for schools plus one-off support of £600,000
- An extra £150,000 funding for pupils with Additional Learning Needs
- funding to enable the real living wage of £10.90 per hour for care workers - a 10% increase
- an extra £500,000 on top of £1.3 million for the Torfaen Leisure Trust to deliver leisure services
- extra investment in Domiciliary Care and Supported Living activities
- funding to help redevelop Greenmeadow Community Farm
- additional funding to support the Fare Share foodbanks
- funding to continue care for looked after children
- continued funding for free food caddy bags and one-off funding for extra waste vehicles
- continued funding for streetscene services at £2.8 million, waste and recycling collections at £8.2 million and £1.8 million for highways maintenance.
The council received a 7.56% per cent uplift in funding, equating to £12 million, for the next financial year in the grant from Welsh Government. The council’s gross budget for 2023/24 is £319.5 million.
Torfaen’s Executive Member for Resources, Cllr Sue Morgan, said: “In spite of the pressures on all public services, this fair settlement from Welsh Government and careful use of our resources has allowed us to shield services from cuts. We can also fund increases for schools and social care, and support services and developments that are vitally important to our residents.”
“We have kept council tax as low as possible for two years in recognition of rising living costs and to provide financial certainty for residents. A council tax increase of 1.95% is amongst the very lowest in the UK and is an increase of around 56p a week for an average band D home in the borough.
“Given the cost of living crisis our budget provides further support for residents struggling with their council tax, and there’s additional funding for the Foodshare scheme.
“This budget means we’re now enabling payment of the real living wage of £10.90 an hour to care workers, which is a 10 per cent rise on the previous year and we’re investing in vital care services and supported living services.”
“Over this next year we’re giving schools a 6.2 per cent budget uplift and an extra £150,000 for pupils with Additional Learning Needs. We’re also reducing what is sent to landfill by increasing the items we collect at the kerbside and continuing the free supply of caddy liners for food waste.”
Torfaen Council Leader, Cllr Anthony Hunt, said: “The income we receive from council tax only makes up 16 per cent of our total budget but I’m pleased our council tax increase is one of the lowest in Wales.
“Just like costs in the home, the cost to run the council have rocketed due to inflation, but we’re managing our own budget pressures through the one-off use of reserves and not by cutting services or passing the cost to residents.”
To view the report visit the council website.