Leeds City Council budget: 5 things we learned

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Leeds City Council bosses have approved their budget for the next financial year.

The city’s council tax payers can look forward to a four per cent increase to their annual bills from April.

Here are five other things we learned from the three-and-a-half hour budget setting meeting at Leeds Civic Hall on Wednesday:

1. Leeds councillors can give the heckling hordes in the House of Commons a real run for their money when they put their minds to it. Yesterday’s budget meeting at Leeds Civic Hall descended into PMQ-style histrionics at various points. The only thing missing was references to disappointed mums and shabby suits.

2. ‘Gerrymandering’ is an actual word. And it has nothing to do with the Germans or either of the world wars. Thanks to the ever-reliably quirky Morley Borough Independent councillor Robert Finnigan for that one.

3. If you put a 0.99 on a tax rise rather than a full 1.0, people will not be fooled. That only works for 99p shops. The council is not a 99p shop.

4. 83 per cent of new emergency Government funding for cash-strapped local authorities will go to Tory councils in the south, and the poorest local councils have been hit with cuts 18 times higher than the country’s richest. But there’s no North-South divide. It’s all in our heads.

5. It’s not all bad news. Leeds’s three-year capital investment plan for growth will create 3,950 jobs and generate £755 million in added value for the local economy.