RESIDENTS in Pembrokeshire will find out what the options for rate rises could be by the end of the month with an “attempt to keep council tax increases as low as we are able.”

Cabinet member for finance Cllr Bob Kilmister gave an update on Pembrokeshire County Council’s settlement from Welsh Government which sees a 0.4 per cent cut – around £591,000.

Cllr Kilmister said that according to the Welsh Government’s standard spending assessment Pembrokeshire requires more than £230million to deliver services – but with only £161million coming from Cardiff.

To meet the extra £68million needed council tax would have to increase 28 per cent “but this is not our intention” said Cllr Kilmister.

A decision on council tax has not been taken but Cllr Kilmister added that the options to be discussed will be made public on November 27.

He said that there was no “indicative settlement” from the Welsh Government for 2021 making future financial planning “extremely difficult.”

The council was waiting to hear what the UK government’s budget will mean for local authorities in Wales.

The decrease in funding will be much higher if additional funding for free school meals, teachers’ pay award and core social services were “factored into the data” said Cllr Kilmister.

“The latest projection is extremely challenging,” said Cllr Kilmister with next year’s £20million funding gap subject to on-going work.