Pre-election council tax freeze ‘hollow’ - The Malvern Observer

Pre-election council tax freeze ‘hollow’

Malvern Editorial 4th Mar, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016   0

THE DISTRICT Council’s portion of council tax will be frozen in Malvern for the first time in three years despite claims it is a ‘hollow gesture’.

The move, the second time Malvern Hills District Council have implemented a freeze in the last four years, forms part of the council’s £10million budget for 2015/16.

Councillors voted in favour of not following Worcestershire County Council, West Mercia Police and Hereford and Worcester Fire Service in increasing its part of the bill.

The decision was made at a full council meeting on Tuesday, February 24 and means homeowners living in a Band D property will pay £1,538.44 in 2015/16.

Coun Paul Cumming, responsible for finance, performance management and resources, said: “The approval of the budget and council tax freeze is really good news and will be a real help for local residents and their finances.

“MHDC has recently made significant savings within various area, including a new leisure contract put in place for the management of its local leisure centres, the joint chief executive role with Wychavon District Council and a new customer service arrangement with Civica.

“The continuing progress will ensure that MHDC continues to provide high quality services and savings to its residents.”

The Tory leadership’s budget also included no increase in car parking charges, investment in waste and recycling, funding local schemes, investment in local welfare assistance, upgrading the online planning system and the introduction of a new programme to tackle business and rural crime.

However, Coun John Raine attempted to make an amendment to reduce waste service charges down from £70 to £60 – after the council raked in more than £23,000 from the service in 2014/15 – which was rejected.

Liberal Democrat leader Coun Tom Wells also tried to throw out the £75 payment for pre-planning application advice proposed by the council, a motion which was again refused.

“It just strikes me as morally wrong to ask people to pay council tax and then pay again if they want advice from our officers,” Coun Wells said.

“We have an administration which has painted itself clear, it seeks to charge residents twice for these services.

“I believe the gesture of a frozen council tax eight weeks before the election is a very hollow gesture, we should not be congratulating ourselves, we should be putting council tax down.”

A total of 17 councillors voted in favour of the budget with 14 opting against it.


Advertise with the Malvern Observer to reach your audience

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Malvern Observer.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.