Powys Council bosses have insisted that no alternative budget has been put forward, as they look to press ahead with a 3.9 per cent rise in council tax.

The leader and deputy leader of the council say they have not seen the alternative budget which opposition groups said they had proposed, which suggested the increase be restricted to 1.9 per cent ahead of a full council meeting next Thursday.

Councillor Rosemarie Harris, leader of the Independent Group and Councillor Aled Davies, leader of the Conservative group in the coalition cabinet, were responding to reports put forward by the four opposition groups in the council that they had an alternative budget proposal.

The combined proposal from the Welsh Liberal Democrat/Green Party Group, Welsh Labour Group, Action For Powys Group and Plaid Cymru was reported last week.

But Councillor Harris said: “The cabinet has not seen any details of an alternative budget other than in the media. The article I read certainly didn’t reflect a balanced budget in any way.

“We have been working extremely hard to present a balanced budget, faced with some very difficult situations. Keeping the authority running and helping protect our residents during the terrible pandemic has been a priority. I believe the current proposal of 3.9 per cent is the lowest increase in a decade.

“Every effort has been made and we continue to work daily to investigate all ways of keeping the council tax rate to a minimum.”

Councillor Davies, deputy leader of the council and leader of the Welsh Conservative group said: “Following last week’s press statement by the opposition I was expecting to see their alternative budget published today alongside our sound, balanced budget.

“Clearly they have once again run into difficulties in setting a balanced budget, following their multiple failures last year.

“There is only one budget on the table to be considered by the council next Thursday and that is the Independents/Welsh Conservative’s budget, which see further investment in the care of our of our residents, both old and young and continued investment in our schools, while at all times striving to keep the council tax increase as low as possible.”

The latest 3.9 per cent rise has proved contentious, and two councillors who joined the Action for Powys group on Tuesday cited the increase as being a point of concern.