THE town's largest opposition group, the Bromsgrove Alliance, has proposed an alternative budget - saying it would spend to revamp the town centre and raise the profile of the town.

The recently formed group has said that by studying the council’s finances and actuary reports, it identified more than £500k savings in its alternative budget.

The group said it managed to make the savings because it believes that the Conservative budget has:

1. Made large over-estimate of its liabilities which do not have to be paid within this year

2. Poured un-necessary monies into an un-achievable timescale for the Bromsgrove District Development Plan

3. Budgeted for an unnecessary spend on external consultants

The Advertiser reported that council taxpayers in Bromsgrove will see a £5 increase in their bills if the council's budget is approved on Wednesday, February 26.

A council spokesman said that that although its budget has seen additional costs like funding the evidence base needed for the Local Plan Review, together with independent Highways advice, it has made significant savings of more than £170k.

Council leader Karen May called the budget a "positive one".

“The services which are important to our residents are important to us and feature in this report," she said.

"They told us, we listened, and now we’re doing!”

The Bromsgrove Alliance, which includes of ex-Labour leader Michael Thompson, said it would spend in areas such as town centre regeneration, three shopper/shuttle minibuses connecting outlying communities to the town centre, and a number of other bus routes.

They also said it would spend on a scheme to begin investment in an electric fleet for the council, and "up" the profile of Bromsgrove.

Group leader Sue Baxter: “The people of Bromsgrove District are paying significant tax increases and deserve value for money.

"The Bromsgrove Alliance is fortunate that it is gifted with qualified members who can intelligently and objectively study the council’s finances and offer realistic solutions. This budget is not a cheap, unrealistic wish list to please the public.

"Rather, it is a feasible assessment of where we can save and how we can better spend. Councillors in the Alliance represent areas throughout the district – from Charford, to Alvechurch, to Barnt Green, to Wythall, to Hagley – this budget has been put together to consider the entire demographic.”