Liberal Democrat County Councillors have been shocked by local Tories' plans to hike council tax by 1.99% this year, the maximum they can without taking it to a county-wide referendum.
In a highly controversial budget Hertfordshire Conservatives have proposed swingeing cuts to buses and library services. Leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Democrat Group, Stephen Giles-Medhurst commented: "I am appalled. The County Council clearly has to be careful and look after taxpayers' money properly, but right now putting up Council Tax by almost 2 percent and also hitting services to the elderly and vulnerable leave a bad taste in the mouth. We all know times are tough, but the Liberal Democrat Group have looked long and hard at the options available to us and will be proposing an alternative budget that ring-fences essential services and freezes Council Tax"
Paul Zukowskyj, Liberal Democrat Finance and Regeneration spokesperson said "I am appalled that the Conservative administration is seeking to impose this on the people of Hertfordshire. There is Central Government funding available to help those Councils who seek to keep Council tax low to help local people. This year HCC Conservatives have decided they would rather raise the Council Tax by as much as they can while slashing services."