Delivering Prudent Healthcare in Wales »Prudent healthcare principles ensure patients receive the most appropriate treatments to achieve mutually-agreed goals.Learn more »
Postcards from the children of Wales to NATO world leaders
Primary school pupils from Wales are to be given the opportunity to write a personal message to the NATO world leaders about their hopes for the future.
- Minister visits North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority
- Superfast broadband rolling-out across Pembrokeshire
Featured Article »Landmark Social Services law receives Royal Assent
- Postcards from the children of Wales to NATO world leaders
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- Children and young people
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- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
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- Amending the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009 to transpose Article 38 of the Offshore Safety Directive
- Extending access to intermediary services for descendants and relatives of adopted people
- Renting Homes – Illustrative Model Contract
- Statutory Guidance to the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales in relation to the salaries of Local Authority Chief Executives
- The Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme 2014-2020
- Active Travel Action Plan
Featured consultation »Draft Technical Advice Note 1: Joint Housing Land Availability Studies
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Section highlightThe Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill
The Bill aims to improve the Public Sector response in Wales to gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update - June 2014
Our pipeline provides visibility of infrastructure investment activity across Wales.
1st Supplementary Budget 2014-15 »
The 1st Supplementary Budget proposes a number of changes to the Final Budget for 2014-15, which was published in December 2013.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
Upcoming calendar »
See the schedule for all statistics and research releases.View upcoming calendar »
Local authorities were required to set their budgets and associated council tax levels for 2006-07 by 10 March. We have now received the relevant figures from all authorities in Wales, and I am pleased to be able to report to the Assembly that the average increase in council tax, including police and community council precepts, will be 4.5 per cent for 2006-07. This is in line with the increase in council tax in England. In Wales, it will be the second lowest average increase since the introduction of council tax, the lowest increase being 3.8 per cent for the current financial year.
These figures reflect the mature and responsible approach that has been adopted by local government to the budget-setting process. It also reflects the good final settlement provided by the Assembly Government.
The unitary authority element of the council tax will increase by an average of 4.4 per cent. Combined with the 5.1 per cent increase in Assembly support that I announced through the settlement, this provides local authorities with the funding to deliver the services that the people of Wales are entitled to expect. Nine authorities set increases of below 4 per cent, with Denbighshire setting the lowest increase at 2.1 per cent. Only two councils, Newport and the Vale of Glamorgan, agreed increases above 5 per cent. The highest increase set was the Vale of Glamorgan at 5.5 per cent.
Newport and the Vale of Glamorgan put forward arguments that they have traditionally set budgets below their standard spending assessments and, as a result, Newport has the second lowest council tax in Wales, while the Vale of Glamorgan has the sixth lowest. I therefore concluded that the circumstances this year did not warrant my using the reserve powers that I have available to limit budget and council tax increases. I felt it important to have discussions with the authorities to challenge their increases but, ultimately, local authorities are accountable to their electorate for the decisions that they make, and I would wish to intervene only in exceptional circumstances.
With regard to the police, all four of the police authorities in Wales set precept increases of 5 per cent. As policing is a non-devolved issue, I stressed the importance of police authorities in Wales acting in line with the expectations set out by the Home Office for police authorities in England. I am pleased to report that rises of 5 per cent are in line with those expectations. In the lead-up to the budget setting, I had discussions with the police authorities, and I am aware that, in the case of Dyfed-Powys Police Authority, the transfer of police pensions out of the police grant created particular funding difficulties for 2006-07. Dialogue with officials on this matter is continuing. However, I am pleased that the authority recognised the need to act reasonably in setting its budget despite these difficulties.
The full details of the council tax figures for 2006-07 are contained in a statistical release to be issued on 23 March.