Cabinet members have sought to protect frontline services and have proposed one of the lowest Council Tax increases in Wales for the second successive year, against a backdrop of continued financial pressures.

After receiving detailed options from Council officials, the Cabinet’s budget proposals, which will be presented for Full Council approval on 1st March, will include support for the City Deal, £2M extra for education for the second year running and the lowest ever local increase in Council Tax.

After discussing the draft budget strategy at a recent Cabinet meeting, County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “Our draft budget strategy seeks to protect frontline services and keep a Council Tax increase to the minimum possible.

“Thanks to the strong foundations we have built financially we are able to protect frontline services from the continued financial pressures austerity is creating.

“As a result of our continued efficiency drive, through which we will seek to deliver a further £6M savings  in the next financial year, we are able to avoid cuts to frontline services and can continue to be ambitious for our County and the services we provide.

“We have saved a total of £80M in the last ten years through seeking to deliver our services more efficiently and effectively.

“Even against a backdrop of continued cuts to public sector funding from the UK Government, it is vitally important we remain ambitious for our County Borough.

“That is why our draft budget strategy includes our investment into the City Deal which will transform our local economy.

“We are delivering an extra £2M for the delivery of education by our schools, ensuring that our schools and teachers have the resources to match our continued investment into modern, state of the art education facilities.

“Our budget strategy will support our commitment to remove car parking charges in Porth, Tonypandy and Mountain Ash and to reduce them in Aberdare and Pontypridd.

“I am delighted that this budget strategy will support the Council to become a nationally accredited Living Wage Employer in 2017 - which is a move I have personally been keen to see this Council achieve and deliver.