Posted inNews

Torfaen councillors due to vote on budget and 1.95% council tax rise

The Civic Centre in Pontypool
Torfaen Council's Civic Centre

THE areas of Torfaen facing the highest and lowest band D council tax bills this year have been revealed.

The average band D bill is set to go up by 1.95% from April 1 and local authority number crunchers have now calculated the final bills facing the 42,000 households across the borough.

The council tax increase must be approved by the full council when it meets at the Civic Centre in Pontypool on Tuesday 28 February, and it will be considered along with the council’s budget for the 2023/24 financial year.

The ruling Labour cabinet has already agreed on the budget, including the council tax increase, it is putting forward for approval, and with all but ten members of the authority being from the Labour Party it is expected the proposals will go through.

That will mean the average band D charge by Torfaen Borough Council will be £1,477.44, which is £28.26 more than last year when the rise was also set at 1.95%. The council also agreed last year to increase the bill by the same amount this year.

But that isn’t the total amount households must pay however as charges to fund Gwent Police and local town and community councils are also added to the bill – these are known as precepts.

Torfaen council will add together the three elements and issue the final bill which householders pay to the borough council.

The final amounts for all areas of the borough have been made available ahead of the council budget meeting, showing households in Blaenavon will face the biggest band D bills.

That is a result of Blaenavon Town Council having set its precept for a band D home at £94.73 this year. The band D precept for all homes in the five local authorities that make up the Gwent Police force area is £324.52.

That means a band D house in Blaenavon must pay the Torfaen Borough Council Charge of £1,477.44 as well as the combined £419.25 to pay towards the police and the town council, giving a final total bill of £1,896.69.

In contrast the lowest band D bills in Torfaen will be issued in Ponthir where the final amount owed will be £1,828.45 – £68.24 cheaper than they are at the opposite end of the borough.

That is due to the local Ponthir Community Council having set a band D precept of only £26.49, which households must pay along with the Gwent Police precept and the Torfaen charge.

Despite these charges most householders in Blaenavon won’t have to find more than £1,800 to give to the council as only 152 homes in the town are in band D – which are those valued at between £91,001 and £123,000.

The final bill facing most of the 2,980 households in Blaenavon will be £1,264.46, which is the charge for band A, homes valued at less than £44,000. There are 1,471 band A homes in the town, while a further 997 are in band B, those valued between £44,001 and £65,000, that will face a final demand of £1,475.20.

In Ponthir there are just 624 houses with 122 in D and a further 421 split almost evenly between the higher value bands E, F and G and no houses in band A.

The council also has reduction scheme for those on low incomes and details are available on the back of any council tax bill as well as the authority’s website.

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Torfaen councillors due to vote on budget and 1.95% council tax rise