The Labour party has been accused of “running High Wycombe down” as councillors clashed over the district’s final budget  last week.

District councils across the county have been approving their last ever budgets before the all-encompassing unitary authority comes into force in April 2020.

During a meeting on February 21, Wycombe district councillors agreed there would be no rise in council tax for residents, however South Bucks and Chiltern district councils agreed a hike of 3 per cent.

Leader of Wycombe District Council (WDC), Katrina Wood, said the authority is “one of a very few” which has not proposed a council tax increase for the year 2019/20.

She said: “We are proud in the Wycombe district that we raise council tax very infrequently.

“Yet again, we are only one of a very few number of councils who are not proposing an increase this year.

“We have a proud record of fiscal prudency while regenerating our district and working hard for our residents to provide a uniquely appealing and attractive destination with a thriving economic centre and a high quality public realm.

“Whilst I don’t dispute that we can always do better, and more, I believe we provide extra value for money for our residents through the work we do and the services we provide.”

However Labour’s, Khalil Ahmed, slammed Tory members for “singing their own praises” and failing to increase council tax when there is “a huge rise” in the use of foodbanks and “universal credit is a mess”.

He said: “I’m just amazing – there’s nothing like singing your own praises or blowing your own trumpet is there.

“I don’t get this budget you proposed when you said you have done such wonderful things, but the reality is the opposite you have got a cabinet member over there who has never walked down the high street and doesn’t know the high street is dying.

“There is a rise in the use of food banks, universal credit is a mess, there is a huge demand on social housing, you speak about affordable housing but there is no talk of social housing.”

Cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, Steve Broadbent, hit back – saying he now has “zero patience” following comments made by opposition members.

Deputy leader, Dominic Barnes, said that the decision not to increase council tax means “money in people’s pockets”, adding it is “upsetting” to see Labour councillors “running this town down”.

He said: “The important thing about the budget is we have only increased council tax twice in ten years and it is also important to mention the task and finish group, and the officers that work tirelessly to deliver services.  What is really upsetting is watching members specifically from the labour party running this town down.”