WYRE Forest Council's budget proposals for 2020 to 2023 include plans to slash spending on cutting grass verges and holding summer events while investing more money into improving Brinton Park and Stourport Riverside.

A report setting out the draft medium term financial strategy for the next three years will go before the council's cabinet on Tuesday, December 17.

It proposes a 2.33 per cent increase in council tax, which equates to an extra £5 per year for band D properties.

Redditch Advertiser:

There are also plans to invest £2.4m into Kidderminster's Brinton Park - as long as a bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund is approved - which includes a £200,000 contribution from the council.

The budget also details plans for £150,000 worth of investment to improve Stourport Riverside, £46,420 of which would come from council borrowing.

Wyre Forest Council is proposing to reduce the amount it spends on cutting grass verges across the district by £50,000 to match funding from Worcestershire County Council, and aims to save £135,000 in 2020 to 2021 by transferring services to town and parish councils.

This includes transferring responsibility for arts development and all discretionary events and summer activities to town councils by April 2021 at the latest.

If this is not achieved, the council says it will still cut all funding to the department by 2021.

The district council has also revealed plans to cut all funding for Kidderminster town centre activities, Bewdley Development Trust and Stourport Forward, which would result in a combined annual saving for the council of £30,520.

During a budget consultation held this autumn, the council says that 75 per cent of people who responded thought grass verges should be cut only twice a year, while 73 per cent supported an increase in council tax of up to three per cent.

Ian Miller, chief executive of Wyre Forest District Council, said: "We would like to thank local residents who took part in the budget consultation this autumn. Over 600 responses were received and they have been reflected in the proposals set out in the report.

“The provisional local government settlement for 2020-21 was due to have been published in early December but has been delayed by the General Election.

"Whatever government is formed after the election needs urgently to publish its proposals so that councils have clarity about next year’s funding arrangements, including the council tax increases that can be set without the need for a referendum.”