Nigel Aurelius who is to retire as Torfaen Borough Council's deputy chief executive and financial director. Picture: Torfaen County Borough Council.

THE officer responsible for Torfaen’s finances for almost 20 years is to step down after helping the borough council set its final budget before he retires.

The authority agreed its budget for the 2024/25 financial year, including a 4.95 per cent council tax rise, last week.

Nigel Aurelius, who is the deputy chief executive of Torfaen Borough Council, and also its most senior financial officer told councillors he will be leaving the role shorty and said: “This is my eighteenth, and last, budget I will present as financial director.”

Mr Aurelius also said David Lilly, the council’s director of financial services, who works alongside him and David Weaver, the group finance officer, in preparing the budget details for councillors, is also stepping down in the coming months.

He said: “It is also David Lilly’s last budget and we’ve worked together on all 18 budgets.”

The chief finance officer joked: “These are the last bills to go out to 40,000 households with my name on so I’m looking forward to receiving the 2025/26 one.”

Several councillors paid tribute to Mr Aurelius and the work of his assistants who it’s said are known as “the Daves” at the Civic Centre in Pontypool and wished them well in their retirement.

Council leader Anthony Hunt said the budget has the “hallmarks” of the approach the council has taken which he said is “calm and prudent” but added: “Prudent is different, from as Nigel says, always assuming the worst.”

The Labour councillor for Panteg said: “I remember coming into the council, in 2012, as a quite young, naive councillor and Nigel, and Dave (Lilly) immediately struck me as two people both of tremendous amount of professional skill and intelligence and experienced in what they do but it wasn’t just a set of figures on a balance sheet, both cared about this borough, people and services we provide.

“The advice and experience they’ve provided in taking through all budgets has really been invaluable support.”

He joked: “I look forward to seeing them in the gallery next year as we present the budget.”