RESIDENTS in Monmouthshire could see a 3.95 per cent rise in their council tax bills under draft budget plans drawn up by the county council.

The proposed increase amounts to householders paying an additional £56.66 a year, or £1.09 a week, on a band D property currently paying £1,434.

Proposals also include using a one-off contribution of £863,000 from reserves and cuts or savings totalling £1.55 million to balance next year’s budget.

The plans have been drawn up with the council facing needing to meet budget pressures of £10.41 million and further pay pressures of £4.96 million.

These include £1.9 million to pay the real living wage in social care, £1.3 million in children’s social care as well as pressures in adult social care, waste and street services and on commercial property income.

Monmouthshire council received an 11.2 per cent increase in funding in the Welsh Government provisional settlement, the largest in Wales, but a council report says the authority “still remains rooted to the bottom of the table for funding per capita”.

The budget proposes investments in school budgets, additional funding for children with learning needs and funding for adult and children’s social services.

Savings include £856,000 in waste and recycling from the retendering of contracts.

New charges and increases in fees make up £133,000 of savings, while an LED street lighting replacement scheme has saved £90,000.

Charges for domiciliary care are proposed to increase from £14.64 to £15.10 per hour, though these are means tested and only those who are assessed as being able to afford will pay.

The price of community meals, as part of the Monmouthshire Meals service, could rise from £4.50 to £4.64.

A council report says: “It is never popular to increase charges for services but the reality is that we need to do so and where inflation is causing the cost of services to rise.

“However, we have limited any increases in charges as much as possible.

“Likewise increasing council tax is never popular but with national funding not keeping pace with demands on local authorities, local taxation is by default having to shoulder a greater proportion of our overall funding.”

Monmouthshire council’s cabinet will meet next Wednesday to agree the draft budget proposals.

A four-week public consultation is then expected to take place until February 16, before final proposals are agreed in March.