DENBIGHSHIRE County Council (DCC)’s cabinet is set to discuss its draft budget for the 2022-23 financial year at a meeting next week.

On January 18, the cabinet will discuss the draft budget and a proposal for raising council tax by 2.95 per cent, ahead of the proposals being put to full council for final approval at a meeting on January 25.

As part of the budget process, the council has received the draft budget settlement announced by Welsh Government, which suggests DCC’s budget will increase by 9.2 per cent for 2022-23, with increases of 3.3 per cent and 2.2 per cent the following two years.

The increase in funding comes with a number of new responsibilities the council will be required to fund.

This includes pay increases, ensuring the real living wage for social care workers, and mitigation for the end of the COVID Hardship Fund.

The council, then, has a funding gap of £2.623 million to fill for the coming financial year.

Proposals to fill this gap include operational efficiencies amounting to £634,000 and the increase in council tax of 2.95 per cent.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, lead member for finance, said: “This budget comes after a second difficult year dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, which has put an additional strain on resources for example, continued pressure on social services, schools, children’s services and waste services.

“We have previously made a firm commitment to Denbighshire residents to try and protect services that the public value and expect as much as possible.

“The council has a strong track record of doing this and we have tried to lead by example by being as efficient and effective as possible, reducing our budgets and making savings through better ways of working.

“Councillors will continue to scrutinise the budget over the coming weeks before it is put to full council for discussion and final approval on January 25.”