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District council takes on board opposition budget plans
7:40am Friday 22nd February 2013 in W-Z
WYRE Forest District Council’s Conservative leaders have taken on board suggestions made by opposition parties for its 2013/14 budget.
The cabinet made some last-minute amendments at a meeting on Tuesday before full council rubber-stamp proposals, including a council tax freeze, next Wednesday.
Council leader John Campion said: “I have always aimed for a consensual budget. Our over-riding priority of freezing council tax remains unchanged.”
Mr Campion agreed that the district council should look into better use of the property it owns, as put forward by the Liberals and Independents, for business or residential use.
He also agreed with the Labour group that a living wage should be paid to council staff and said it was “absolutely the right thing to do.”
In addition, the cabinet decided that a review should be undertaken into where the district council can provide elements of free parking in Kidderminster, Stourport and Bewdley.
Furthermore, Mr Campion said the council will look into re-instating the community leadership fund where each councillor receives £1,000 for community work as well as assessing the idea that business starter units are put into the Stourport Civic Hall, proposed by Independent Community Health Concern councillors.
Mr Campion claimed the council should be supporting the growth of back bedroom businesses as the West Midlands is the “workshop of the country.”
The council’s net base budget proposed is £12.6 million for 2013/14 and includes savings of £500,000 as well as a planned investment of £500,000 to support local businesses.
The final vote on the budget plans will take place next Wednesday at a full council meeting.