No mayor tax for the sec­ond year run­ning – Street

Solihull News - - NEWS - JONATHAN WALKER jon.walker@reach­plc.com

WEST Mid­lands Mayor Andy Street has an­nounced he will not levy an ad­di­tional charge on coun­cil tax­pay­ers in the West Mid­lands.

The mayor is al­lowed to add a “pre­cept” to coun­cil tax bills to con­tribute to the cost of run­ning his of­fice – and last year an­nounced plans to add £ 12 to bills for a Band D home, only to back down in the face of op­po­si­tion from coun­cil lead­ers.

Mr Street has now an­nounced that for the sec­ond year run­ning there will be no pre­cept from the mayor’s of­fice.

It means he has pledged not to add a charge to coun­cil tax bills in the West Mid­lands un­til at least May 2020.

Re­gional may­ors across the coun­try have the power to im­pose pre­cepts, al­though most of them choose not to do so.

One ex­cep­tion is Greater Manch­ester mayor Andy Burn­ham, who added a charge of £ 8 for Band D prop­er­ties for the fi­nan­cial year to May 2019.

Lo­cal coun­cils, the Fire Ser­vice and the Po­lice also have the power to raise ad­di­tional coun­cil tax and are set to an­nounce any changes in the com­ing weeks.

Mr Street said: “I am de­lighted that I have been able to give this com­mit­ment not to in­crease bills

I am de­lighted that I have been able to give this com­mit­ment not to in­crease bills for coun­cil tax­pay­ers in the West Mid­lands. WEST MID­LANDS MAYOR ANDY STREET

for coun­cil tax­pay­ers in the West Mid­lands.

“The West Mid­lands has come to­gether to bring in more money from Gov- ern­ment and is look­ing to at­tract pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment. As we leave the EU, we will push to se­cure fund­ing which is com­ing back from Brus­sels.

“We are also work­ing hard to keep costs as low as pos­si­ble.”

He claimed he was able to avoid im­pos­ing a pre­cept be­cause of suc­cess in win­ning more fund­ing from cen­tral govern­ment, which the Mayor said amounted to £ 1.7 bil­lion since May 2017.

Mr Street also hopes that the Govern­ment will agree to de­volve to the West Mid­lands fund­ing of £ 550 mil­lion cur­rently pro­vided by the EU, af­ter Brexit takes place next year.

West Mid­lands Mayor Andy Street

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