FINAL plans for next year’s council tax have been announced.
Kirklees Council’s Conservative Cabinet will propose a 3% rise at the annual budget meeting later this month.
With charges for fire and police included, this would mean a band A householder paying £885 in 2008/09.
People in band H - the most expensive homes - would have to stump up £2,656.
Residents in Holme Valley, Mirfield, Meltham, Denby Dale and Kirkburton would have to pay slightly more to cover the costs of their parish councils.
Kirklees Council will decide whether to support the Conservative proposal at the annual budget meeting on February 27.
Council leader Clr Robert Light said that services would not suffer if his below-inflation council tax rise gets the go ahead.
He said: "We’ve put together a package which enables us to reinvest in services due to extra efficiencies."
Clr Light outlined the Conservatives’ spending priorities for the year ahead. He said: "We will invest in a number of key areas like the Young People’s Service (YPS) and in regeneration.
"We will also be looking at switching council buildings to a new metered system of heating which can be adjusted on an hourly basis. At the moment we’re heating buildings in the middle of the night."
Labour leader Clr Mehboob Khan said Government generosity made a large council tax rise unnecessary.
He said: "We wouldn’t increase the council tax more than the Conservatives have proposed. The recent local government settlement has given Kirklees an extra £12m, making this year’s budget process much easier."
Clr Khan explained Labour’s priority spending areas.
He said: "We’re in the process of evaluating the Conservative proposals but there’s a lack of emphasis on tackling crime and addressing the core needs of vulnerable people, particularly those with disabilities.
"We’re very concerned to ensure we have high-quality care for older people which allows them to stay in their own homes for longer."
Clr Khan also wants the council to end the practice of fortnightly grey bin collections, which is being introduced across the district. "We’re looking at ways of keeping a weekly bin collection service," he said.
Lib Dem leader Clr Kath Pinnock also thinks that central government has substantially increased support for the council.
She said: "Central government funding makes up 75% of the budget of Kirklees and £12m is a huge amount of extra money. Kirklees has had a huge bonanza from the local government settlement yet the Conservatives still want to put up council tax by 3%."
Clr Pinnock outlined her party’s priorities for the year ahead.
She said: "Currently we have a YPS which deals fairly well with a small group of young people - those who need things to keep them off the streets.
"We need a YPS which meets the needs of all young people through things like the mobile skate parks which work so well in North Yorkshire.
"We also want to see a climate change fund. We would like to see biomass boilers in schools and council buildings to reduce carbon emissions.
"Lib Dems will also push for victim involvement in justice for perpetrators of crimes. It’s something which has proved very effective in South Somerset."