Shropshire

Council tax in Telford and Wrekin set to rise by 2.5%

Council tax in parts of Shropshire is set to go up by 2.5%, in April.

Telford and Wrekin Council said the rise is what the majority of residents who responded to a consultation wanted.

Although it means the average bill will go up by £27 a year for a Band D property, it remains the lowest in the West Midlands.

The Labour-controlled council said a rise was needed in the wake of a £40m funding gap the authority must bridge by 2014.

Bill McClements, cabinet member for resources, said: "We've got a 17% budget deficit this year and we're making massive cuts.

"And even with the cuts we've put into the budget, we need more.

"There's a gap building up three or four years down the line, and if we don't start putting tax on again, it'll just get worse."

Before announcing the rise, the local authority held a budget consultation involving almost 3,000 residents.

Mr McClements described the results as a "surprise", since 63% of respondents voting to raise council tax rather than accept a one-off government grant to freeze it.

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