New council tax increase for Telford and Wrekin mooted

Council tax in parts of Shropshire could increase again in April.

Telford and Wrekin Council's ruling Labour party wants to increase the tax by 1.9% over the next three years to help address a £10m budget gap.

The cabinet member in charge of finances, Councillor Bill McClements, said it would mean an average increase of 32p per household per week.

The leader of the opposition is concerned that about £1m would be taken out of the local economy each year.

Conservative councillor Andrew Eade said: "Many other authorities are going for a freeze in council tax.

'Tough times'

"It's the third year that they're doing that now and we're seeing continual rises. For the current year the increase was 2.4% and it actually took £1.4m out of the local economy.

"That's money that local people would spend on jobs, services and supporting the general infrastructure.

"I don't think soaking the local community, making them to dig in their pockets to find what in effect is going to be £4.5m at the end of year three does anybody any good at all."

Mr McClements said the planned increase "is not massive and it doesn't cover all our problems".

"We've got a £10m gap in our budget and that tax increase is less than a million so that's only 10% of it," he said.

"We're a low tax council. Our housing mix in Telford is below average and we have cheaper house than Shropshire would have.

"Their housing average is band D, ours is average band B."

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