NUMBER crunchers at Solihull Council have recommended that council tax should rise by 4.73 per cent.
This is the increase which faces people living in Band D properties - but it still has to be agreed by cabinet members and Full Council. If the rise is approved by members, those living in Band D properties will have to pay an extra £1 a week.
It is a bigger hike than last year, when bills rose by 4.5 per cent and someway ahead of inflation - presently 3.1 per cent. But Solihull Council has said that it had to battle hard to keep it from creeping higher. Last year, the authority had predicted a rise of 4.73 per cent and Cllr Ken Hawkins, cabinet member for resources, is pleased that the figure has stayed the same.
“We have a three-year plan for our budgets. The one good thing about this is that we can plan ahead. It’s very good news that the council tax increase recommended is the same predicted twelve months ago - before all the financial problems had started.”
Paul Johnson, director of Business Support, said it had been a challenging budget and that Solihull continued to suffer meagre settlements from the Government.
Already the council is planning for next year’s budget and is aiming to make five per cent efficiency savings - although Cllr Hawkins insisted that this would not mean a drop in the quality of services.
The recommended budget will go to cabinet next week and then go to Full Council on March 2.