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Plenty of Labour councils claiming they have "no alternative" to  Council Tax increase despite the offer of Government funding to finance a Council Tax freeze.

Here are some examples of councils planning Council Tax rises for 2012/13 and and their misguided priorities when it comes to spending their residents money.

Leicester:

£1.5 million paid to suspended staff. Leicester City Council paid out the most of all Midlands councils in salaries to suspended staff, at almost £1.5 million for a total of 107 incidents since 2009. This is the equivalent to 16,000 working days. 

Every resident shelling out £84 for top-paid council staff. New research this week shows that Leicester spent £83.61 per head of local population on employees earning £50,000 or more, the second highest in the Midlands. 

Nottingham:

Excessive senior pay. Nottingham paid 11 directors over £100,000 in 2010.

£5,000 on a Christmas tree. Nottingham splurged £4,450 of taxpayers’ money on a Christmas tree for its headquarters building in 2010. According to the Nottingham Post the 2010 tree was rented for just 35 days, meaning it cost nearly £143 per day.

£17,000 on international flights in two years. A report published by the Taxpayers Alliance shows Nottingham City Council spent £13,324 on flights in 2009-10 and £4,067 in 2010-11.

Gateshead:

Local residents denied weekly bin collections. In addition to the threat of not freezing council tax, Gateshead Council has also scrapped weekly bin collections.

York:

£400,000 spent on incinerator consultants. Council chiefs in York spent more than £400,000 on consultants over a controversial waste incinerator last year.

Taxpayer-funded union posts. Two council planning officers were recently moved on to full-time trade union duties.

Stoke-on-Trent:

Council tax arrears same as budget cuts. The amount of uncollected council tax in Stoke-on-Trent is equal to the amount the authority is reducing in its budget next year. Council tax arrears stand at £20.1 million while the council is expecting to make £20 million of savings next year. In 2010, the Labour-run council was the worst in the West Midlands region for collecting council tax.

Every resident shelling out £100 for top-paid council staff. New research shows that Stoke spent £99.41 per head of local population on employees earning £50,000 or more, the highest in the Midlands

Wigan:

Extravagant chief executive’s office. The chief executive’s department spent over £1.3 million in fields ranging from catering to phone bills.

Middlesbrough:

Council head paid more than the PM. Ian Parker, the chief executive of Middlesbrough’s town council and the man responsible for managing its £136 million budget, made £155,644 in 2009-10 – more than Prime Minister, and exceeding the average pay of £147,000 for council heads nationwide, even though this council is one of Britain’s poorest.

Darlington:

Capital expenditure more than tax and grants. During each of the last five years their capital expenditure targets were collectively some £31 million above their known tax and grants income.

Redcar & Cleveland:

Enormous payout for brief service. The Council paid a £92,955 settlement to the former assistant chief executive Richard Fryer, who worked at the council for just two years.

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