Denbighshire council is proposing a 3.8 per cent council tax rise from April as it looks to plug more than £5m of gaps in its finances.

It contrasts with neighbouring Conwy county council, which this week proposed a 2.95 per cent increase in the charge.

In documents going before next Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, report author Steve Gadd, the authority’s head of finance, said the council had received a draft Welsh Government settlement grant 3.6 per cent higher than last year at £158.6m.

With council tax receipts of around £58.2m, it would give the council total funding for 2021/22 of £216.8m.

Mr Gadd said it was a “welcome return to positive settlements which hopefully recognise the important work local government delivers and the pressures that it faces”.

The increase would mean a Band D council tax payer forking out an extra £52.60 a year (around £1.01 a week) meaning an annual charge of £1,436.76 per household in that banding.

The rise is 0.5 per cent lower than last year’s and would raise an extra £2.13m for council coffers.

The report highlights how Denbighshire was facing a shortfall of £10.59m if they had received no increase in the Welsh Government settlement but the proposed grant means that is reduced to around £5.17m.

Around £4.95m of that relates to increased spending on running costs and investment in school buildings and increased costs for social services.

To fill the gap the council is increasing external fees and charges by £462,000, “operational efficiencies” will save around £690,000 and another £781,000 will be clawed back through changes in “service provision”.

Some of that is thought to come from a “reorganisation” of the council homelessness team, which was told less than two weeks before Christmas up to five positions would be lost.

Delegated cash for schools will see a 1 per cent cut of £733,000 which individual schools will have to collectively trim from their budgets.

More money will come in through council tax this year because there are more people paying it, which is projected to bring in a further £369,000, with the rise in council tax filling the rest of the budgetary gap.