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Shropshire's council tax payers facing big increases

By Dominic Robertson | Politics | Published:

Residents in Telford and Wrekin are facing their biggest council tax rise in a decade, while Shropshire Council ratepayers will be hit with their second biggest in the past ten years.

In Telford bills will be up £64, while Shropshire's will increase by £79.

The Local Government Association says many councils feel they have "little choice" but to raise tax this year, to try to protect their services from ongoing funding pressures.

Band D households in Telford and Wrekin, the most common tax band, will see their council tax rise by 3.9 per cent, according to the latest Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government figures.

The latest rise brings the Band D bill to £1,704, compared with £1,640 last year. Across all households, the average is £1,154.

It's the highest increase in a decade for Telford and Wrekin residents, topping the hike of 3.4 per cent in 2016-17, which was previously the highest since 2010.

Band D households in Shropshire will see their council tax rise by 4.6 per cent.

The rise brings the Band D bill to £1,779, compared with £1,700 last year. Across all households, the average is £1,412.

It is the second highest increase in a decade for Shropshire residents, not quite topping last year's hike of 5.6 per cent.

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Funding gap

Across the the West Midlands, Walsall has the highest council tax bill at £1,928, while Dudley has the lowest at £1,542.

Telford and Wrekin residents have a lower bill than the rest of the region on average, where Band D households pay £1,764.

Councillor Richard Watts, chairman of the LGA's resources board, warned that council tax increases across the country will not prevent cuts to services.

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He said: "With councils facing a funding gap of more than £3 billion this year, council tax rises will not prevent the need for continued cutbacks to local services.

"If the Government fails to adequately fund local government as part of the spending review there is a real risk to the future financial viability of some services and councils."

Shadow communities and local government secretary Andrew Gwynne said: "The Government has no answers to the dire situation facing our councils.

"Tory austerity has devastated communities but instead of providing sustainable funding, this Government has shifted the pain onto council taxpayers."

But local government minister Rishi Sunak said council tax in England was six per cent lower in real terms than when the Conservatives came into power in 2010.

He added: "Residents' satisfaction with council services remains high, despite the need to pay off Labour's record deficit.

"Up and down the country, it's Conservative councillors and councils who have a proven record of managing taxpayers' money wisely and providing better local services.

Across England, Westminster Band D households pay the lowest council tax at just £755, while Rutland tops the list at £2,043. The average bill is £1,750.

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