A MOVE to raise council tax in Flintshire has been unanimously backed by its county councillors.

Councillors ratified cabinet recommendations on Tuesday to raise council tax by 4.75 per cent for the year 2020/21 - thereby fulfilling the council’s pledge to cap any rise by five per cent.

The average Band D property owner will face an extra £75.04 on their bill, equating to £1.44 per week - with the increase being around the predicted Welsh average.

The actual increase in council tax the council itself has approved is 4.5 per cent, but once the 0.25 per cent increase in the levy from North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority is added, the total amounts to 4.75 per cent.

On council tax bills the Fire and Rescue Authority levy is not shown separately. 

Last year, Flintshire residents faced an 8.75 per cent hike in their council tax, and an increase of 6.7 per cent the year before.

The move to cap a council tax rise by 5 per cent has been praised by the Wales Audit Office, which states in a council report that Flintshire Council “takes a high-risk approach to its financial strategy and is not prepared to compromise the range, quality or safety of services.”

Flintshire councillors, officers and staff have been praised for their efforts to keep frontline services without tax bills reaching what the Welsh Government has set as a guideline of a 7.1 per cent council tax rise for local authorities across the country.

It comes despite Flintshire Council being one of the lowest funded local authorities in Wales, with only three receiving less funding last year - despite Flintshire, population-wise, being the sixth largest.

This led to councillors taking Council Tax the fight to Cardiff a year ago - challenging the Welsh Government over a lack of funding which saw Flintshire council taxpayers saddled with a rise of more than eight per cent.

And this appears to have paid dividends as the Welsh Government agreed on a funding uplift of over £10m, a 3.7 percent increase on the previous year.

Cllr Ian Roberts, council leader, said: “These decisions on council tax are not taken lightly; they’re taken in a very serious manner, as they impact our residents the most.

"But achieving capping the council tax rise by 5 per cent this year then I think we have delivered for the people of Flintshire whilst maintaining services.”

Cllr David Healey described it as a “considerable achievement” in “the background of the most severe financial challenge for a decade”.