A MEETING next week will finalise Wyre Forest District Council's spending proposals for the next year.

Cabinet members will vote on budget proposals which include a council tax increase of up to 2.99 per cent as well as investment plans for the year commencing April 1, 2020.

The draft budget includes a capital investment of £2.4m for Kidderminster's Brinton Park, subject to a successful bid for National Lottery Heritage funding, and a £1.5m boost for the council's Capital Portfolio Fund for investing in properties to generate income.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

The budget also outlines plans for improvements to Stourport Riverside worth £150,000 and a Community Leadership Fund of £33,000 to allow councillors to support local organisations and good causes.

The district council plans to save £135,000 in 2020-21 through its Localism initiative, which has so far seen assets such as Kidderminster Town Hall transferred to town and parish councils to reduce spending.

Funding for Kidderminster town centre activities, Bewdley Development Trust and Stourport Forward would also be cut completely if the budget plans are approved.

An earlier proposal to reduce spending on cutting grass verges by £50,000 has been scrapped following confirmation from Worcestershire County Council that it will not be decreasing investment in the service.

Council tax would increase by either 2.33 per cent or 2.99 per cent, depending on the controls set by central government.

The overall rise in council tax is likely to be higher than three per cent, depending on the increases decided by other authorities like Worcestershire County Council, the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.

Wyre Forest Council, as the billing authority, keeps around 12p of every £1 it collects.

Leader, Councillor Graham Ballinger, said: “I’d like to thank the hundreds of residents who took time to comment and give their views on our budget proposals.

"We believe our new financial strategy very much reflects what people told us.

“It is a pity that the government has still not unveiled the final local government revenue settlement.

"We can provide clarity about the council tax increase for 2020-21 only after it has done so.

"Whatever we decide, most local people are likely to pay an extra 10p a week or less for the range of services provided by the district council.

“The current economic climate is not easy. With government funding frozen and costs rising, never has it been more important for us to act prudently, implement efficiencies and look for new income streams to pay for services.

"We believe our draft budget will help us achieve our priorities, to create a safe, clean and green living environment where there are good quality and affordable homes for all and a successful local economy and jobs for local people.”

Cabinet's budget recommendations will go to full council for final sign-off on Wednesday, February 26.