Council tax freeze is ‘being optimistic’

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A Tory leader predicted a two-year council tax freeze in Amber Valley but provoked a doubtful response from Labour.

The debate at Wednesday night’s full council meeting was prompted by a government decision to trim nearly £1million from its handout to the borough council, which will now receive £2.6million in the new financial year.

The Conservative-led authority is planning £4million cuts over four years - but could still be in the red by 2016.

Council leader Stuart Bradford said: “Council tax will not rise in Amber Valley this year. And there will be no council tax rise probably in 2014,” In a direct comment to Labour, he added: “I know what is going on - you don’t. That is the difference between being in control and in opposition.”

Labour leader Paul Jones said: ”I don’t share your optimism. The council is running an operational loss of £1million a year.”