Uncertainty over council tax and bin collections in Wakefield

Peter Box
Peter Box

COUNCIL tax could be frozen in Wakefield after an announcement that government cash will be made available to councils to avoid an increase.

Chancellor George Osborne said he would fund the freezing of the tax next year - but he couldn’t force councils not to raise it, and Wakefield Council has said no decision had yet been made on next year’s tax rate.

Council leader Peter Box said the main priority was to make £22m in savings next year on top of £19m the council had already been forced to slash from its budget by Mr Osborne’s controversial spending cuts.

Coun Box said: “No decision had been taken at this stage regarding the council’s 2012/13 council tax, although we are determined to keep council tax to a minimum.”

Wakefield Council also said it could not yet consider the government’s offer of £250m to switch back to weekly bin collections after they were changed to fortnightly.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles made the recommendation, saying he believed every household in England had “a basic right” to have their rubbish collected every week.

Glynn Humphries, the council’s service director for Cleaner and Greener, said: “The Government have given no firm details as to how the £250m fund would be administered or what exactly it could be used for were it made available so it is too early to comment on the opportunities it may provide.”