JEFFERSON Horsley has met Taunton Deane Council's annual budget pledges with mixed reaction.

The LibDem opposition leader said he welcomed the capital spend on new social housing but raised his concerns over other elements to the proposals.

He said: “The return to building further council houses would not have been possible if the Conserative and Labour parties on Taunton Deane Council had succeeded in selling off the council house stock in 2006 - the Liberal Democrats opposed the campaign to do this.

“We remain highly critical of the council which is boasting of setting aside £91,000 'to help local people cope with changes to the welfare benefits system being introduced' when they are doing nothing about the £800,000 being withdrawn from the poorest working age group households via the council tax reduction scheme.

“We predict this will harm some 750 to 1500 households and be a nightmare to collect in Taunton.”

In the proposals published in last week's County Gazette, leader of the council Cllr John Williams said they were putting forward a 'positive' budget which pledged no redundancies, a council tax freeze, regeneration and growth.