Kirklees councillors agree to council tax rise

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KIRKLEES councillors have agreed to put council tax up by 1.6 per cent.

Council leader Mehboob Khan proposed the rise at a full council meeting yesterday.

Coun Khan (Lab, Greenhead) said councillors would have to choose between making greater cuts than already expected or increasing council tax.

He said the increase of 1.6 per cent would generate around £2m and help to cushion the impact on frontline services.

Conservative leader Coun Robert Light (Birstall and Birkenshaw) made a counter proposal to freeze council tax and accept a government grant which would provide the same amount of revenue as a one per cent rise.

He said he was concerned about the impact a council tax rise would have on struggling families.

But Liberal Democrat leader Coun Kath Pinnock (Cleckheaton) said that accepting the grant would leave the council with £600,000 less to spend on valued services.

Green Party and Valley Independents leader Coun Andrew Cooper (Newsome) said councillors must also consider the impact of further cuts to services for those who relied upon them most.

The counter proposal failed to win a majority when put to the vote.

Instead, the majority of councillors voted in favour of the 1.6 per cent rise in council tax for 2013/14.

People living in band A properties, who currently pay £934.31, will see their bills rise to £949.26 from April.

For band D properties, bills will rise from £1,401.47 to £1,423.89.