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Council tax freeze?
5:00pm Tuesday 5th February 2013 in News
DISTRICT councils across Worcestershire are being called upon to freeze council tax when it comes to crunch votes next month.
The county council’s leadership wants to peg rises at zero to help hard-pressed households.
But the council council only controls 72 per cent of the bill, with the rest decided by the police, fire service and district councils.
All the authorities will take votes on it in February, with the outcome far from certain, particularly as West Mercia Police is consulting over a two per cent rise in its portion of the bill.
In Wychavon, there is not expected to be any opposition to a freeze.
Councillor David Thain, a county council cabinet member, has urged all the districts to freeze rates.
“The general public out there are clearly not in favour of any council tax rise. That is not what they want,” he said.
“We have listened to them because they have made their views clear, and I hope now all the districts go the same way and freeze their elements of the council tax too.”
Any authority can increase its portion of the council tax bill by 1.9 per cent this year without the need for a referendum.
The Government has been encouraging councils to freeze rates by offering a cash lump sum equivalent to one per cent of the income as a sweetener.
Worcestershire County Council has pegged rises at zero for the last two years, and bosses say if a third freeze in a row can be approved next month it will have saved households £70 a year on average over that period.