Anger as council tax frozen for third year
Councillors in Cornwall have voted in favour of council tax freeze for the third year in a row leading to more than a hundred job losses.
Tempers flared yesterday at County Hall, Truro, during a heated four-hour budget debate resulting in a 1.97% increase for 2013/14 being kicked into the long grass.
Cabinet members had recommended the increase but it was defeated after the Liberal Democrat group put forward an amendment for a 0% freeze.
The Liberal Democrats won the day after their amendment was voted through by 60 votes to 42.
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Councillors heard failure to increase the levy would lead to the loss of 135 permanent and temporary jobs as departments would have to make cuts.
Council officers told the chamber rejection of the 1.97% was likely to impact five service areas, including adult care and support, children schools and families, shared services, chief executive's department and resources. Cabinet had also recommended rises of 5% for 2014/15 followed by 1.98% increases for both 2015/16 and 2016/17.
Included in the new budget were promises to invest in road repairs, reduction in car parking charges, moves to tackle anti-social behaviour and a "spring clean" for Cornwall's streets and beaches.
Jeremy Rowe, Lib Dem group leader, said: "Once again we are taking the lead in delivering the best for the people of Cornwall."