LABOUR councillors in Bromsgrove are calling on the district's MP to ensure the council does not have to pay £1.48million to local government over the next three years through negative Revenue Support Grants.

The sum was featured in Bromsgrove District Council's budget, passed last month, after the council was identified as one of the 15 most 'affluent' authorities in the UK.

The grant, nicknamed the 'Sajid Tax' by the town's Labour Group, could see Bromsgrove council paying more than £740,000 in both 2019/20 and 2020/21.

A motion, calling on Mr Javid to give 'immediate assurance that the negative grant will be cancelled', has been submitted by Labour Group leader Luke Mallet, and is scheduled to be debated by full council on April 25 - a meeting the MP has been invited to attend.

Cllr Mallet said: "It's very disappointing that Sajid has not yet confirmed he will attend Bromsgrove's full council to account for this damaging stealth tax his department has imposed on local councils like Bromsgrove.

"Ultimately the local taxpayer foots the bill through increased council tax or reduced services.

"Once again I would call on our MP to give immediate assurance that this Sajid Tax will be cancelled."

The Conservative Group has also shared its concerns on the tax, but said Labour's proposal 'won't help Bromsgrove'.

A spokesman said: "In principle, it is right that the Revenue Support Grant exists, however the implementation of the formula is complicated and can sometimes lead to anomalies.

"This is part of a detailed four-year settlement the council signed up in 2016, so it is confusing that the Labour Group are only raising this as an issue now.

"We've been making our views known on this for a while, and are aware that our MP, who is also the Secretary of State, is carrying out a consultation to review the position."

They added: "The proposal from Labour won't help Bromsgrove especially as, despite knowing about the negative grant for some time, they have chosen to run a publicity campaign on it only now, after the budget for the year has already been passed.

"To us, it smacks more like a political ploy to ensnare our MP in a situation he did not introduce."

Mr Javid said: "We have listened to councils and will be holding a consultation in the spring to look at the options to deal with negative grants.

“This consultation is the formal process that has to be undertaken before any changes are made.”