Deadlock on council tax leads to 12 hour meeting

Shire hall
Shire hall
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A row over council tax led to a 12 hour standoff at Cambridgeshire County Council before its budget for 2016/17 was finally passed.

Lengthy negotiations at Shire Hall in Cambridge ended shortly before 10pm on Tuesday after a decision was eventually agreed to raise council tax by two per cent, but for the rise ring-fenced specifically to pay for adult social care.

The government is allowing council tax to go up by four per cent for the next financial year, although half has to be spent only on adult social care.

The Conservatives had wanted a council tax rise of 1.99 per cent, which would not be ring-fenced, while Labour, Liberal Democrat and independent councillors wanted a 1.99 per cent rise with the extra 2 per cent for adult social care.

UKIP had wanted no rise at all.

Council leader councillor Steve Count said: “I found it personally very difficult but I’m genuinely happy with the budget and it pretty well reflects where we want it to be.”