Calls for council tax rise rejected

By Rob George Thursday 14 February 2013 Updated: 15/02 07:58

CALLS to add more than £20 a year to the average council tax bill to help bolster services have been rejected.

Labour councillors on Worcestershire County Council wanted a 1.99 per cent rise - equivalent to 40p a week extra on the average Band D bill.

They claimed it would raise £2.1million to pay for schemes including boosting bus services and the reintroduction of pre-9.30am bus travel for the elderly and disabled.

But the ruling Conservative group rejected the call and instead voted to freeze the county council's portion of the bill for a third successive year.

During the debate Labour councillor Coun Alan Amos said: “Tory/Lib Dem cuts are all about saving money in the short term, nothing to do with building a harmonious and positive society.

“This is a choice – a very clear choice – between investing in our young people, looking after our old people, helping people of working age get to and from work or 40 pence a week."

But council leader Coun Adrian Hardman criticised the proposals and said Labour "truly are the party of tax and spend".

“I know when Labour were in power they stopped teaching history but I didn't know they were rewriting it,” he added.

The Labour proposals were rejected as were Liberal Democrat plans to invest in young people's bus travel and moves towards introducing the Living Wage at the council.

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