COUNCIL tax in Caerphilly County Borough could to rise by 2.5 per cent as part of the council’s 2022/23 budget.

The increase is equivalent to an extra 59p a week for an average band D property.

While local authorities receive the majority of funding from the Welsh Government, council tax does form part of their budget.

The proposed budget includes an investment of £10 million in services, including £6 million for the social care sector, £250,000 towards apprenticeship schemes and £235,000 to target flood prevention.

The remainder of the money will be spent on public protection services, weed control measures and community safety wardens.

Leader of the council, Cllr Philippa Marsden, said the main aims of the budget is to protect front line services and continue to support the community.

Cllr Marsden, who represents Ynysddu, said: “This budget really shows that ‘Caerphilly cares’ and we are supporting and protecting the community during these difficult times.”

The Independent Group and Plaid Cymru have both criticised the rise in council tax.

Leaders of the Independent Group, Cllr Kevin Etheridge, said: “With the settlement funding from Welsh Government, the Independents propose a nil increase in council tax.”

Before Christmas, the Welsh Government announced its provisional local government settlement, which will see every Welsh local authority receive at least an extra 8.4 per cent funding for 2022/23.

Cllr Colin Mann, leader of the opposition group Plaid Cymru said: “Labour councillors have a long record of increasing council tax by above inflation – last year it was 3.9 per cent – and now is not the time for them to pile another rise on really hard-pressed families and individuals. They have enough to worry about without more huge council tax bills landing on their doormats in March.

“The Labour group in Bridgend is proposing a freeze arguing this was possible because of the excellent funding settlement from the Welsh Government. The same surely applies to Caerphilly Council.

“In addition, Plaid Cymru revealed only three months ago that Labour was hoarding more than £180 million in useable reserves. The financial accounts published by the council revealed that reserves had risen by more than £40 million between 2019/20 and 2020/21.”

Cllr Eluned Stenner, cabinet member for finance said: “The positive financial settlement from Welsh Government means that the overall picture is looking positive for the next 12 months.

“That said, there are challenges ahead, including many inescapable cost pressures such as  an increase in National Insurance contributions and inflation levels at a ten year high, but our ambitious transformation programme is key to help us remain financially resilient.

“The key message is that we are investing in our community, protecting services and protecting the public from cuts.”

Cllr Mann, who represents Llanbradach, said: “People need help and I call on the Labour group to recognise reality and reject a 2.5 per cent rise and not push up bills again. It can be done if the will is there.”

A public consultation on the budget is now live, comments can be made via the online survey found here:

Paper copies of the survey can be picked up and returned at your local library.

If you need help completing the survey or want to request alternative formats, e-mail or call 01443 864404.

Cllr Marsden said: “It is important that local people have their say on our plans and help shape the budget, so a public consultation will be launched on Wednesday, January 13 and I would encourage as many people as possible to have their say.”

The council’s cabinet will discuss the budget proposal further, in their meeting on Wednesday, January 19.