PLANS to increase council tax in Newport are set for public consultation, with leading council figures to agree to draft proposals later this week.

The proposals, which are to be discussed at a cabinet meeting this Friday, January 14, will see a council tax increase of 3.7 per cent in the city for the 2022/2023 year.

This will amount to a weekly increase of £0.59 - £0.79 for properties in house bands A to C, the most common bands in Newport, from April, the start of the new financial year.

It comes as Newport City Council sets out its draft budget proposals for the next financial year.

However, a final decision will not be made this week.

The cabinet is set to agree to the proposals, which will allow the budget to go before consultation, before a final budget is agreed upon at the next meeting in February.

How did we get here?

It is expected that along with the proposed rise in council tax, there could well be an increase in the cost of a number of other council services.

This comes as the budget report has identified a potential budget gap of “almost £9 million” over the period of time from 2022/23 to 2024/25.

One big reason for this is said to be the ongoing covid pandemic.

The document says that “the external considerations impacting on the Council are a key factor in the overall approach to financial planning within the organisation. From an economic context, the pandemic has had a significant impact both globally and at a UK level.

“The Covid 19 pandemic and associated public health measures have had significant financial implications on the Council, both in terms of additional costs and loss of income.”

While support has been made available through Welsh Government’s Covid 19 Hardship Fund, which was designed to support local authorities in managing costs and lost income, this fund is set to end in March 2022, and its loss will create “a potential financial risk to the council’s budget”.

But, while the pandemic has played its part, it is by no means the only factor which will have an impact on Newport’s next budget.

Other factors cited are the “repercussions of the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit), tackling inequality and the urgent need to continue to respond to the climate and nature emergency.”