Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet is recommending an increase of 50p a week in Council Tax for the coming financial year.

The increase will result in a Band D payment of £767 – a rise of £26 a year.

Despite the increase, Pembrokeshire will still have the lowest Council Tax in Wales by a long way – with Newport next lowest at £889.

Pembrokeshire’s £26 Band D Council Tax rise (3.5%) compares to a proposed £44 rise (4.5 per cent) in Carmarthenshire and a £48 (5%) rise in Ceredigion.

The increase was approved at a meeting of Cabinet on Monday, which considered the County Council’s budget for 2014/15.

The medium term financial plan will also see cuts in services of almost £13 million, although schools and social care budgets will be protected.

Council Leader, Councillor Jamie Adams, said that when setting the Council Tax for next year Cabinet Members were mindful of the financial difficulties currently being faced by people in the county.

“As a result we have aimed to keep the increase in Council Tax as low as possible,” he said.

“We have to reduce our costs over the next two years by £20 million as a direct consequence of the loss of grant from the Welsh Government."

He warned that the impact on some services would be immediate, although the financial planning process had ensured that management, commissioning, procurement and general efficiency savings would make a significant contribution to the target.

“The key challenge will be to protect those services for the most vulnerable in our communities.”