COUNCIL tax in Caerphilly County Borough will increase by 4.7 per cent in April, after the council approved its budget for the coming financial year.

The increase was signed off this week despite concerns raised by the council's Plaid Cymru group leader Cllr Colin Mann that it was too high.

Although Cllr Mann proposed an lower increase of 3.5 per cent, this was ultimately voted down by members.


Cllr Mann said: “We should not raise the council tax more than we absolutely have to.

“We all know about the increasing number of people using food banks and a lot of those people are working sometimes in two or three or four jobs. This is the situation people are in.

“I think as councillors we have a duty to keep that bill as low as we possibly can, and I think that’s a reasonable compromise. It can be done without affecting the overall budget.”

But cabinet member for social care and wellbeing Cllr Carl Cuss said that the increase would allow the council to protect vital resources.

He said: “We are putting a reasonable tax rise level to ensure our services stay afloat and so we can put money into our place-shaping agenda.

“That place-shaping agenda will allow us to put money into social care, education, leisure services and they are denying that.”

Leader of the council Cllr Philippa Marsden said: “We have carefully considered your suggestion, but as a prudent and financially responsible council we will need to take decisions to protect the public first and safeguard our key services.

“We believe that the 4.7 per cent increase is reasonable.”

Concerns were also raised in the full council meeting over a proposal to cut the voluntary sector budget by £80,000 so a review could take place.

Although Independent councillor Kevin Etheridge called for the cut to be scrapped, this was voted down.

Cllr Etheridge said: “I believe every councillor here wants to defend the voluntary sector budget.

“They do a marvellous service and I appreciate the review of the voluntary sector will leave them in a state of flux and uncertainty for months.

“I believe the review into that should not take place and I would like to propose that the £80,000 in the service review is moved over to the withdrawn savings review. That would give the people in the voluntary sector certainty, and it would also give the people of the county borough certainty.”


The final budget includes £3 million in cuts, but also protects services such as education and social care. This includes funding £13 million to protect school budgets.

Plans to make cuts to CCTV cameras, reduce the highway maintenance budget and school crossing patrols were scrapped earlier this month.

The budget will come into force in April.