An article in the Telegraph today claims that Birmingham City Council residents face a 10% rise in council tax, and that this has been confirmed by lead commissioner Max Caller.
This is not correct. No decision has been made or formal request received from Birmingham City Council.
As set out in the local government finance policy statement, as part of the Exceptional Financial Support (EFS) process the Government will consider representations from councils, including on council tax.
The EFS process is available where a council has a specific and evidenced concern about its ability to set or maintain a balanced budget, including where there has been local financial failure. Each council's position is considered on a case-by-case basis.
Commissioners were sent into Birmingham City Council in October after concerns over its serious governance and financial failures.
On October 5, following the announcement of a government intervention into Birmingham City Council, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:
Residents have been let down by Birmingham City Council’s failure to get a grip of the significant issues it faces, from its equal pay liability to the implementation of its IT system.
We are always committed to protecting the interests of taxpayers and we will take whatever action necessary to ensure this happens in Birmingham.
That’s why today I have taken the decision to intervene and appoint a team of commissioners to help return the council to a sustainable footing moving forward.