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No council tax rise for Solihull

COUNCIL leader Ian Hedley has confirmed there will be no increase in council tax in the borough.

COUNCIL leader Ian Hedley has confirmed there will be no increase in council tax in the borough.

But a budget put forward will see the local authority make £15.1m cuts to services.

Over £4m will be slashed from children’s services and there will be a £2.5m reduction in the environment budget.

The proposals went to cabinet this week and will be considered by Full Council early next month.

Coun Hedley said that the council had planned for a “worse case” scenario and that’s what they’d been faced with.

“We’ve been hard at work on this budget since last June, there’s been a lot of preparation,” he said.

“When the Lib-Lab group took power we said that we wanted a council tax freeze and that’s what we’ve delivered.”

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has praised the “can-do” councils who have managed a zero-per-cent increase.

Coun Hedley was not among the Lib Dem council leaders who have accused Mr Pickles of “gunboat diplomacy”.

“We took a cross-party delegation to the Government to put our case, I felt that was the best thing to do,” he said.

For not increasing council tax, Solihull will receive a share of £650m - put aside to reward the most efficient local authorities.

But an 11th-hour attempt to get a better overall grant, with party leaders visiting Westminster, was unsuccessful.

In fact, Solihull received £22,000 less than they’d expected, once the Government had done the final sums.

 

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