RESIDENTS in and around Wrexham are facing a 5.5 per cent increase in their council tax bill this year.

It comes as the chief executive of Wrexham Council has warned some frontline services are under threat of being stopped from 2021 unless more financial support is provided.

The local authority needs to make cuts of £18 million in the next two years on top of around £60m it has already saved since budgets started to be reduced in the late 2000s.

The ruling coalition of independent and Conservative councillors is planning the tax hike to try to balance the books for 2019/20.

It would see the average annual bill for band D properties rise to £1,153 from April.

The amount does not include the North Wales Police Authority precept or those of community councils in the area.

Chief executive Ian Bancroft, who has been in post since September, said it would help to protect the most important services for the upcoming year.

"Our line at the beginning of all of this was to protect our key fundamental services, adults and children’s social care and education and schools," he said.

"Obviously in terms of the council tax proposal it’s about everybody playing their part and that helps to protect those services.

"The big issue for me as head of paid services, is this is the first time ever we have no money in the bank now to actually deal with the 2021 budget.

"We will be talking, unless there’s help in 2021 and 22, it’s not about savings and cuts.

"We will be stopping services in 2021, that’s the hard reality of where we are."

Council leader Mark Pritchard (Ind) has previously described the settlement the authority received from the Welsh Government as "disastrous".

A consultation called 'Difficult Decisions' was held in the autumn to gauge the views of the public on the latest round of savings for 2019/20.

It included proposals such as reducing black bin collections from every fortnight to once every three weeks, as well as giving residents the option of either a five or six per cent council tax increase.

Cllr Pritchard said: "We have had difficult discussions between us all and we do understand there are lots of people out there who are struggling and this will have an impact on them.

"I think overall, if you look at it and compare it with other authorities and what they’re setting theirs at in the future, our track record tells the people of Wrexham we’ve always been thoughtful and considerate with this and that hasn't changed this time.

"The bluntness of where we are with it is we had a settlement from the Welsh Government which is disappointing and we expected a lot more, but we are where we are."

The proposed council tax increase will be discussed by executive board members at a meeting next Tuesday, January 8.