Pembrokeshire County Councillors have today voted for a 12.5% Council Tax rise for the county.

The vote was 40 for, to 18 against.

The Band ‘D’ Council Tax for the Council will increase from £883.15 to £993.54. An increase of £110.39 per year or £2.11 a week.

The final amount which Council taxpayers will be required to pay will include sums for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys and their local town or community council.

During the debate, Council leader David Simpson, said: "There is not one of us in this room that wants to go to 12.5 per cent, but we do need 12.5 per cent; we are £14.8m adrift, we need the extra money. 

"We're not going to go out and spend simply thinking we've got lots of money, we haven't, we're just trying to sort it out."

Former leader Jamie Adams, added: "I've heard very little about value for taxpayers, there's a very clear message from my ward; if our income is cut our outgoing also should be cut - you don't go with a begging bowl asking for more money.

"If there's 5 per cent this year and next year you're telling us you need 15 per cent, having done the hard work and shown your mettle I would support you next year.

"You've heard services shouldn't be cut of course they should be cut. They should be examined. There's a bit of a myth about council services being dependent on council tax levels. "

He warned that Pembrokeshire was in danger of becoming a middle cost middle output council.

"It's not for us to ask people on fixed incomes for more money because we are simply not offering them more. "

Cabinet Member for Finance, Bob Killmister, said: "Are we going to back what we're saying or impose further cuts which will damage the situation where we are and the services we provide?

"Please I implore you to do the right thing "

Cllr Simpson said after the vote: “Despite this big increase, Pembrokeshire will still have the lowest Council Tax in Wales and indeed the third lowest in all of England and Wales.

“By voting through this rise, Elected Members have enabled the authority to close a critical £16 million funding gap and therefore protect from cuts essential services such as education and social care.

“If we had voted for either a five of eight per cent increase in Council Tax - which were also options – then those services would have been badly hit, consequently affecting the most vulnerable members of our society.

“I would remind our householders that Pembrokeshire remains one of the leanest and most productive local authorities in Wales and we actually currently deliver services at £14.8 million less than the Welsh Government say we should.

“I firmly believe that Council today has made the right decision. It allows us to continue with our transformation programme and to deliver services in the most cost-effective way.”

Members also approved the County Council budget for 2018/19 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2018/19 – 2021/22.