With everyone receiving their Council Tax reminders in the post last month, and with the considerable hike up to 12.5%, can residents expect to see more ‘bang for your bucks’ in the coming months?

With Pembrokeshire County Council currently facing a projected funding gap of £31.9m, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that the answer is likely a resounding no!

The county had faced the possibility of even higher increases of 18.94% and an eye-watering 20.98%, before Cabinet members backed the 16.3% proposal, ahead of an 11th-hour alternative 12.5% proposal being narrowly-backed.

Let’s not beat around the bush here though, those in control of the purse strings at County Hall in Haverfordwest have been failing for some time; and it is astounding that those in charge of certain departments at the Local Authority haven’t been taken to task.

Heads should be rolling at the home of the County Council - and many of those in highly paid positions should be the first place to look when it comes to making budget-saving changes after years of incompetence that has had a knock-on effect right across the board of our public services.

Instead, begging letters were sent out to Town and Community Councils to try and prevent the closing of essential public conveniences and a reduction to local library services.

A recently launched 'Streetscape Scheme' where property owners in Milford Haven and Haverfordwest have been able to apply for grants to paint the exterior of their properties is being passed off as some kind of 'Street Enhancement Programme' by the council, when the reality is, the funding comes from a UK Government initiative intended to help communities across the country.

PCC's Deputy Leader Cllr Paul Miller said the scheme is part of the Council’s 'ongoing commitment to regeneration' with the aim to help town centres to 'thrive by improving the overall look of the surrounding area - in order to boost footfall, support businesses to create new jobs'  Shouldn't that be the role of our Local Authority county-wide, not just some staggered scheme across towns?