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90% of English local authorities increasing council tax, while one Midland council will stay same

90% of English local authorities to increase council tax Credit: PA

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.

– Worcestershire County Council leader

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.

– GMB union, Tim Roache

Watch: Health campaigners protest proposals to change healthcare

Health campaigners in Worcestershire Credit: ITV News

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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