Labour bids for council tax rise in Worcester

Councillor Adrian Gregson, Labour group leader

Councillor Adrian Gregson, Labour group leader

First published in Worcester
Last updated
Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

WORCESTER'S Labour Party has called for a council tax rise of almost two per cent in the city, it has emerged.

The group has now lodged an official bid to have a hike of 1.99 per cent debated during a crunch city council meeting on Tuesday.

If approved it would add £3.23 to the yearly £1,441 average band D bill, raising £93,000 in income.

They want Guildhall chiefs to reject £50,000 of Government cash offered as a reward for a freeze, and instead to ask residents for more money.

Councillor Adrian Gregson, group leader, said the council was becoming “anorexic” after successive freezes and that ongoing cuts is impacting on the city.

“We cannot carry on like this - at some point some party will have to take a stand and do the sensible thing,” he said.

"A council tax rise is planned by many councils across the country, both Labour and Conservative, as they see it as a responsible and prudent response to the Government's cutbacks."

Councillor Richard Boorn, Labour’s finance spokesman, added: “It works out at around 26p a month - if most people had that added to their bill they’d hardly notice.”

Some 64 per cent of Worcester’s homes are in bands A, B or C, and would pay between £2.15-£2.86 a year extra if the rise is approved.

As your Worcester News first revealed back in November, the Conservative administration is calling for a council tax freeze for a third year on the trot to help hard-pressed households.

But the Tories will need to rely on votes from the Liberal Democrats and potentially Green Party Councillor Neil Laurenson to force it through.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, city council leader, said: “This shows what would happen if Labour controlled the council - it’s a tax and spend, lazy route.

“We will oppose a rise full stop because we don’t believe it necessary.”

Worcester MP Robin Walker said: “People will be shocked at this idea - it’s unbelievable to think they would refuse Government help and ask working people for more money.”

The news comes two days after Worcestershire County Council agreed to freeze its portion of the council tax bill, which makes up 72 per cent of the overall amount.

The city council is responsible for 11 per cent of the bill.

A rise of 1.99 per cent is the maximum allowed under Government rules without resorting to a referendum.

Sources say a referendum in Worcester would likely cost £100,000 to stage, making that scenario a no-goer anyway.

Labour also wants a review of CCTV in Worcester with a view to potentially investing in a monitoring base in Castle Street, instead of just Pershore Civic Centre.

They also want all services at risk of being commissioned out to be examined to see if they can be retained in-house, or provided by a not-for-profit body instead of the private sector.

The city council’s 2013/14 budget is being set on Tuesday.

Comments (6)

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1:50pm Fri 15 Feb 13

one94 says...

Wages arent going up, so why should Council Tax. give us all a break will you!
Wages arent going up, so why should Council Tax. give us all a break will you! one94
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Guy66 says...

That's the Labour Christmas party and summer holiday sorted if it goes through :)
That's the Labour Christmas party and summer holiday sorted if it goes through :) Guy66
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Fri 15 Feb 13

ushmush83 says...

Worcester's Labour party can get stuffed!
Worcester's Labour party can get stuffed! ushmush83
  • Score: 0

5:22pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Hwicce says...

And I bet if it did go up, they'd complain at the next election that the Conservative Council had put it up and it wouldn't have happened under Labour.
And I bet if it did go up, they'd complain at the next election that the Conservative Council had put it up and it wouldn't have happened under Labour. Hwicce
  • Score: 0

6:11pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Landy44 says...

When will they get it through their heads: "THERE IS NO MORE MONEY"!.

They need to be grateful for the money they already get and spend it wisely for maximum impact in essential services, whilst trying to save as much of it as they can.

All the local politicians are pretty poor, but Labour seem to have cornered the market in being out of touch with the public, and failing to understand the extent and seriousness that the last Labour government left us in! I'm the first to admit the conservatives are also not helping to resolve matters, but really? How can they NOT get it?

Borrowing is at record highs and still climbing.
Interest rates are at record lows but are only going to go up.
If the country was a company it would be insolvent.
Printing money just creates the stealth tax of inflation.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE POLITICIANS: WAKE UP!!!!!
When will they get it through their heads: "THERE IS NO MORE MONEY"!. They need to be grateful for the money they already get and spend it wisely for maximum impact in essential services, whilst trying to save as much of it as they can. All the local politicians are pretty poor, but Labour seem to have cornered the market in being out of touch with the public, and failing to understand the extent and seriousness that the last Labour government left us in! I'm the first to admit the conservatives are also not helping to resolve matters, but really? How can they NOT get it? Borrowing is at record highs and still climbing. Interest rates are at record lows but are only going to go up. If the country was a company it would be insolvent. Printing money just creates the stealth tax of inflation. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE POLITICIANS: WAKE UP!!!!! Landy44
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Landy44 says...

One more thought: The council SHOULD be "anorexic".

"Big government" which is the recent labour style of government is an oppressive dictatorship which creates more problems that it purports to solve.

We need "Small government" so it gets out of the way and lets the people of the UK stand up, take responsibility, and solve their own problems.
One more thought: The council SHOULD be "anorexic". "Big government" which is the recent labour style of government is an oppressive dictatorship which creates more problems that it purports to solve. We need "Small government" so it gets out of the way and lets the people of the UK stand up, take responsibility, and solve their own problems. Landy44
  • Score: 0

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