No council tax rise after Labour u-turn

COUNCIL chiefs have done two more u-turns by freezing council tax and stopping the axing of area committees.

Last week Kirklees ditched a planning strategy after earlier ruling it out, and have now done the same on two other policies.

The Labour cabinet agreed at a meeting on Tuesday to accept Government funds to freeze the local tax.

Tory leader Coun Robert Light (Birstall and Birkenshaw) said: “I’m delighted Labour have reversed their own proposals.

“Under pressure from us they are adopting our priorities of freezing council tax while maintaining funds for our communities.

“The council is forecasting an underspend this year running into millions of pounds and this must be used for the benefit of residents.”

The budget is due to be set at meeting of the full council in Huddersfield on Wednesday February 19.

A report councillors will consider shows the authority needs to make £21m of cuts in 2014/15.

Coun leader Coun Mehboob Khan, who is to leave for a job in London days after the budget meeting, defended the tax u-turn. He said: “The council is mindful that the economic situation is still hitting households hard.

“This freeze will help alleviate the pressure. And despite taking this action we will still be spending on our key priorities. We have used resources to balance the cuts this year while planning services for the next three years.”

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