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Following a full meeting of Council Leaders today (Friday) COSLA said that, whilst they welcomed the £144 million the Government has earmarked for the Council Tax Freeze, the principle that Councils should be able to set their own Council tax level must also remain.

Commenting following the meeting the COSLA Resources Spokesperson Councillor Katie Hagmann said:  “Leaders were clear today that as well as the £144m, councils should still have the discretion to set their own council tax level.

COSLA’s analysis of the £144 million is that it does not fully fund a council tax freeze due to cuts to our core budget.

“Leaders also highlighted that in relation to the pay claims now being received from our trade union colleagues, there is no additional money for pay in the Budget as it stands and that this will endanger local jobs and services. Leaders agreed to lobbying both UK and Scottish Government in relation to funding for pay.

“Finally in relation to the recent announcement of an extra £600 million funding from the UK Government for councils in England, Leaders were clear that the full Barnet consequentials should be passed to Local Government, from the Scottish Government, without any conditions or direction on spend.”