Nine out of 10 local authorities in England are increasing their level of council tax from April, a new survey has found.
Residents in some areas will see their bills rise by as much as 5%, as councils take full advantage of new powers to top up their charges with money ring-fenced for social care.
Among the 22 local authorities to buck the national trend and not raise their portion of council tax is Wyre Forest council, in Worcestershire.
Leader Marcus Hart said putting up council tax should be a "last resort". He said he had been able to freeze the tax because of increasing other fees and charges, including ones for car parking, bulky waste collections and cutting trees down.
Our narrative is, broadly, council tax payers - we won't just be using you by putting up council tax just to subsidise other services.
Tim Roache, general secretary of the public sector GMB union, said:
That almost every local authority is being forced to raise council tax to meet the even the basic needs of communities up and down the country shows just how far the Government have gone in abdicating responsibility for public services.
Health campaigners in Worcestershire have protested outside a CCG meeting to try and get a halt to the consultation on proposals to change healthcare across Worcestershire.
It follows the death of 8-year-old Callum Cartlidge. He suffered a cardiac arrest at his house in Redditch after visiting his GP earlier in the week with tonsillitis and stomach ache.
Callum's parents said ambulance staff asked to take him to the Alexandra Hospital just 1.9 miles away from the family home, but instead were sent to Worcestershire Royal Hospital which is 21 miles away.
This is what his dad said to reporter Callum Watkinson:
Paramedics managed to get Callum to the Worcestershire Royal A&E department in 23 minutes, but sadly nothing could be done to save him.
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There is slow traffic due to an earlier crash on the M42 Northbound in Worcestershire between J3 (Portway / Redditch) and J3A M40.
All lanes have been re-opened. Travel time is around 20 minutes.
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William Stocker, eight, stopped eating chicken nuggets, which he has for most lunches and dinners, after the recipe changed.Read the full story ›
Worcestershire acute NHS trust has until today to reply to concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission and submit improvements plans.Read the full story ›
Callum Cartlidge was taken to an A&E department several miles away after he had a cardiac arrest at his home in Redditch.Read the full story ›
Paramedics attended Callum at his home in Redditch after he went in to a cardiac arrest on Friday and took him to a hospital 17 miles away.Read the full story ›
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