Denbighshire County Council’s Cabinet has approved its budget for the 2021/2022 financial year, with an increase of 3.8% in council tax for the county’s residents.

The draft settlement announced by Welsh Government in December showed an increase of 3.6% in the budget for Denbighshire and in cash terms this means an increase of £5.4 million.

The budget still has to go to Full Council for approval on January 26.

In setting the budget, councillors have considered the fact that there are £10.6 million budget pressures facing the authority, including continued pressure on social services, education, schools and waste service.

In light of the better settlement, the Council has been able to keep the increase in council tax as low as possible, with this year’s increase of 3.8% lower than last year’s increase of 4.3%.

The budget for the 2021/22 financial year is £216.8 million.  This includes a £750,000 increase for education and children’s services; £3.3 million for schools; £2.4 million for adult social care; £250,000 for waste services; £276,000 for flood defences and £389,000 for the Council’s Carbon Zero target.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, said: “The Council has a legal duty to set a balanced budget for the forthcoming financial year and I must commend councillors and staff who have worked tirelessly to get us to this position today where we can officially set the budget. “They have come up with proposals to balance the books and have scrutinised and deliberated over the figures before coming up with the budget.

“The past year has seen a number of increased pressures due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Council will continue to work with Welsh Government to ensure that the Council plays its full part in the response and recovery to the pandemic.

“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to identify more efficient and effective ways of working within the Council and the savings we have identified, together with the better settlement than expected, means that we have been able to keep the council tax levels low.

“The public has told us that they did not want to see large increases and we have listened to their concerns and worked to find alternative ways of finding savings.

“The other good news is that we have been able to protect essential frontline services that people want and expect from the Council.   The savings we are taking forward this year will have little impact on the level of services that the public receive and that has been a crucial part of our thinking from the beginning. The Council has a strong track record of doing this and we have tried to lead by example by being as efficient and effective as possible, reducing our budgets and making savings through not replacing some posts and identifying better ways of working or stopping some things altogether.”