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Opposition parties call for budget changes
7:30am Thursday 3rd January 2013 in News
OPPOSITION parties have said they want to see changes made to this year’s Wyre Forest budget proposals.
The council tax freeze has been prepared on the basis that a grant from central Government will help support the loss of income.
Liberal leader Fran Oborski said: “The council’s hands are very firmly tied concerning the freeze.
“There is no point in increasing council tax by two per cent and the cost of a referendum – which you would have to hold to bring in an extra increase – would have a massively negative impact.
“We will be putting together budget changes and will be seeking to minimise the cuts in public services.”
Labour’s Parliamentary spokesman Howard Martin said: “We are producing an alternative budget, where we will make comments on the existing proposals.
“We have some different priorities to the administration. Until we finalise our proposals, it would be inappropriate to comment.”
Independent Community and Health Concern Parliamentary spokesman Graham Ballinger said: “It would be premature to make a detailed response but we will be expecting the administration to live up to any promises.
“Last year, the administration made a huge furore about how much they were putting in to help business but they haven’t spent any of it. They are good at talking the talk and not very good at walking the walk.”
The district council is also proposing a £500,000 investment for the local economy, which is half the £1million figure set in 2012/13.
Mr Campion said: “We don’t have a monopoly on good ideas.
"We must continue to do things in different ways and we now want to hear what others have to say.”
Internal and external consultations will now take place before the full council makes its decision in February.
The Government’s settlement, made by local Government minister Eric Pickles before Christmas, gave councils two year funding deals, which showed large reductions.
Worcestershire County Council will not know its funding until later this month but has been told to expect a cut of about 2.4 per cent.
Wyre Forest District Council predicted a 10 per cent reduction in funding for 2013/14 and 15 per cent the following year.
In comparison, Malvern Hills District Council is facing a 15 per cent reduction in 2013/14 and 7.5 per cent in 2014/15.