A COUNCIL tax rise has been rubber-stamped by district councillors.

At the latest Bromsgrove District Council full council meeting, held yesterday, (February 26), members agreed to its portion of the council tax rising 1.9 per cent.

It will mean an annual band D householder, in an unparished area, pays £200.24 for the part of the council tax bill which is paid to the authority.

There were fiery exchanges over the council tax rise and the budget, when these were debated at the meeting.

The leader of the opposition Labour group, Luke Mallett, said it was a budget for borrowing, the Conservative leadership of the council had failed to make hay when the sun was shining, and that the authority was on a rollercoaster with no breaks.

Coun Mallett said the Labour group could not support the council tax rise.

He said: "If we felt it would be used to protect services, to keep them as they are, we would feel that this would be justified and understand the rise."

Conservative councillor for Norton, Mike Webb, questioned why, if the Labour group felt they could have done better, the group was not putting forward its own alternate budget.

Drakes Cross and Walkers Heath Councillor Sue Baxter, of the Independence Alliance, said she agreed with 99 per cent of the Labour members concerns adding it was not a budget for our communities.

Leader of the council Roger Hollingworth said the opposition members had got their facts wrong, describing it simply as a sound budget.

He added that he did not know of any cuts and in being accused of borrowing, he must have picked that up from the previous Labour government.

Both the budget and council tax rise were passed after a vote was taken.