Group opposes rates freeze

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OPPOSITION councillors are fighting a council’s proposed tax freeze.

Forest Heath District Council’s three opposition councillors are asking for a 5p a week tax rise to pay for a range of initiatives, including plugging the gap in the council’s finances.

The extra funds would also be spent on funding a ‘Tidy Town Centre’ scheme, market regeneration and helping owners of empty homes into bringing properties back on to the market.

Cllr Tim Huggan, leader of the Opposition Group, said: “Over the last few years we have seen our markets decline, our town centres get dirtier and the number of empty homes increase.

“I hope that our budget proposals will do a bit to help reverse this general sense of decline.”

The plans also involve slashing member allowances by 10 per cent, abolishing payments to member champions and the introduction of pre-planning application charges - raising almost £50,000, according to the group’s calculations.

The alternative budget proposals are to be put before the council at a meeting next Wednesday.