A call for a full review – or even rescinding – of Pembrokeshire’s 2024 council budget, which saw an 11th hour drop in a proposed 16.3 % council tax rise, will be heard tomorrow.

Pembrokeshire County Council was facing a 16.3% council tax increase when setting the council budget for 2024-25 in March; that figure dropping to 12.5 per cent after an 11th-hour alternative budget proposal by deputy leader Cllr Paul Miller was narrowly backed.

That drop in the council tax rise was made by using additional reserves of £1.5m, as well as £1m target for council efficiency savings, along with leisure services savings.

Cllr Miller said that would see a weekly council tax increase for the average property of £3.22, or £167.86 a year.

Members backed Cllr Miller’s amendment, by 30 votes to 26, with one abstention.

A notice of motion, signed by 18 of the 60 members of Pembrokeshire County Council, is to be heard at the May 9 meeting of the full council, asking “that PCC undertake a full review of the amended 2024/25 budget put before full council without notice by the Deputy Leader [Cllr Paul Miller] on March 7”.

It adds: “The proposals put forward by the Deputy Leader in his amended budget committed the authority to sourcing £1 million in savings, the use of £1.5 million in reserves and further efficiency savings of £300k from PCC Leisure Services defined by Cllr Miller on March 7 as ‘minor re-structuring’.

“The savings of £1 million to be achieved through what Cllr Miller called an ‘Operational Review’ to be undertaken by the Chief Executive.

“This NoM is a request that a previous decision made by council be rescinded unless further detailed clarification and assurances can be provided of the extent of the ‘Operational Review’ and which departments within PCC will be required to furnish the £1 million in savings and what cuts in service will be the result and possible loss of employment by PCC staff.

“Furthermore, this NoM requires further information with regards to how the £300,000 efficiency savings in leisure services through ‘minor re-restructuring’ will be achieved and for councillors and the public to be informed if any services will be reduced and any potential reduction in staff within PCC Leisure Services and the impact this will have upon the wellbeing of leisure services users.

“Approaching seven weeks have now elapsed since the budget of March 7, and it’s hoped that councillors will now be provided with further information, and, if not, we request that the previous decision by council be rescinded.

“The manner of how the amended budget was presented to full council has caused much concern and this motion is submitted to seek further information and for further scrutiny to take place to fully identify the consequences of the amendment put forward by Cllr Miller on March 7 in the interests of openness and transparency for both councillors and the residents of Pembrokeshire.”

Councillors who signed the notice of motion are: Huw Murphy, Jamie Adams, Elwyn Morse, Mel Phillips, Mike James, Michael John, Brian Hall, Vanessa Thomas, Delme Harries, Alan Dennison, John Davies, Terry Davies, Iwan Ward, Andrew Edwards, Peter Morgan, Anji Tinley, Simon Wright, and Shon Rees.