The Council recognises the impact the rising cost of living is having on already stretched household budgets and the Council has agreed that the Blaenau Gwent element of Council Tax will not increase in 2022 – 23.
Council tax is an important element of the Council’s funding contributing approximately 21% of total income. Band D is commonly used as the standard for comparing levels of Council Tax across Wales and this gives a misleading picture for Blaenau Gwent as 85% of homes are in Band A or Band B.
Balancing Our Budget
The settlement from Welsh Government will see Blaenau Gwent’s budget increase by 8.4% for 2022-23. This has provided the council with an extra £10.4 million in funding above initial budget estimates.
The extra funding is aimed at addressing some of the increased costs facing all councils including an increase in Teacher’s pay settlement, National Insurance contributions to cover the social care levy, funding the Real Living Wage, increasing energy costs and continuing to deal with the Covid pandemic.
The Council’s priority is to protect front line services. The favourable settlement which is higher than expected means that we can continue to deliver the services valued most by local residents without any budget cuts in the next financial year.
Our online budget consultation revealed that residents view Education as a top Council priority and Council also agreed an 8.4% increase (worth £3.91 million) to school’s budgets for 2022-23.
The council’s continuing ‘bridging the gap’ programme continues to create efficiencies and financial resilience for the future.
The increase in funding is welcome news however it does not reverse the significant budget reductions of the last 10 years which means that we must continue to be financially prudent and work hard to meet service demands whilst balancing the budget in future years.
How the Council Spends Its Budget
The majority of money the Council gets from Welsh Government is spent on Social Services and Education. Council Tax and other income helps fund those other services that are also important to residents.
We are interested in your views on our spending priorities and the proposed level of Council Tax for 2022-23. Please completed the short survey below by 14 February 2022.