Council tax frozen in Brighton and Hove

Posted On 23 Feb 2012 at 9:27 pm

Council tax will be frozen in Brighton and Hove after the Conservatives and Labour voted together to thwart the ruling Greens.

As a result Brighton and Hove City Council will receive a one-off grant of £3 million from the government.

The Greens wanted to put up council tax by 3.5 per cent and said that freezing it would mean deeper cuts in future years.

Councillor Jason Kitcat said that the effect would be at least £3.6 million extra savings needed in 2013-14.

The Tories backed a Labour amendment which will mean that cuts will be made in human resources, communications and management.

The budget for staff training, the sustainability team and the mayor will also be cut.

Some money will be transferred from reserves while some of the cuts planned for 2013-14 are being brought forward.

The amendments included funding a replacement mobile library and overturning the rise in allotment charges. They are likely to go up by a much more modest amount.

Council leader Bill Randall said: “We got 99 per cent of our budget through. My great fear is what will happen next year.”

Labour opposition group leader Gill Mitchell said that her biggest concern had been to overturn the proposed rise in council tax.

She said that the Greens’ budget had been left largely intact but added that they should look again at the management structure rather than salami slice budgets for individual departments and teams.

Councillors and officials took advantage of the recently relaxed rules about using Twitter during meetings #BHbudget and more people outside the meeting joined the debate online.

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