Page last updated at 21:08 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009

Council tax to rise by nearly 4%

Mark Meredith
Mark Meredith said he aimed for the most cost-efficient services

Plans to raise council tax by 3.95% in Stoke-on-Trent have been approved at a city council meeting.

City mayor Mark Meredith has said he had stuck to his promise of raising the tax by less than inflation as this was 5.2% when the budget was calculated.

He has said 2009 budget calculations began in September.

Meanwhile, Newcastle-under-Lyme residents will see a council tax rise of 2.5%, following a budget meeting by the borough council on Wednesday.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been proposing cutting 47 jobs at the council to make savings, with call centre staff and adult social services among those expected to be affected.

It has also said it wants a more efficient recycling scheme.

'Inflation falls'

Mr Meredith had said it was "vitally important" that the budget was voted through.

He had said: "We have to continue to invest in our future, whether young people, or helping adults back into work through training."

Mr Meredith had said that since September inflation had "dropped like a stone thanks to the global downturn".

He had said: "We cannot seriously plan spending on key services by changing each time interest rates and inflation rates fall."

Meanwhile, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council said its increase would mean people living in a Band D property paying 8p more each week.

Council tax was being set in Stafford on Thursday evening, with a rise of 2.9% being proposed.

The final bills include precepts from the county council, police and fire services.

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