Pembrokeshire residents can have their say on this year’s council budget with a public consultation due to be launched following cabinet this week.

At its meeting on Monday (January 11) cabinet accepted the provisional local government settlement which was “better than anticipated” according to the member for finance Cllr Bob Kilmister.

Prior budget preparations worked on a flatline basis and the settlement “still leaves challenges.”

The predicted funding gap of £25million is reduced to £14.5million, with Pembrokeshire’s provisional AEF for 2021-22 set at £179,387,000, ranking the authority seventh in Wales.

Pembrokeshire County Council is set to receive £7.2million more than last year, he told members, with all directorates now expected to present cost efficiencies and savings as well as any bids for growth to the performance and budget challenge board later this month.

A public consultation about the budget for 2021-22 will be launched “after today” said Cllr Kilmister, as he urged resident to have a say.

He said that the recommendations of the challenge board and public responses will be reviewed before any decisions are made, with councillors also being given an opportunity to provide details of where they believe savings could be made.

There was no discussion of a potential increase in council tax of five per cent – generating more than £3million – at Monday’s meeting, which was supported by the social care overview and scrutiny committee last week.

The council tax recommendation will be presented to the remaining scrutiny members before a cabinet recommendation and full council decision.