News broke last week that Merton Council would be raising it's council tax by the largest possible amount, but that wasn't the only thing that had people riled up.

The council agreed to increase the tax by 4.99% - the maximum amount allowed without triggering a referendum.

Of this, 2% will pay for adult social care with the rest paying for other services.

This is around £1.12 a week for a Band D property.

But it was the rejection of a funding proposal to put two more police officers on Merton’s streets which had Lib Dem Councillor Paul Kohler furious.

"We do believe that there is a link between crime and police numbers and we therefore want to replace some of the police officers that we are losing in Merton owing to cuts by the Mayor of London and the Government.

"It was very disappointing that Labour and Merton Park Residents Association councillors would not support our proposal, preferring to stick to a dogmatic position that flies in the face of residents’ concern."

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Among proposals that did get agreed was to not reduce council tax rebates for low income households, and that young people leaving care will be exempt from paying council tax from 2019/20 until they are 25.

Councillor Mark Allison, cabinet member for finance said believed there were still some missed opportunities.

"Our big regret from last night’s meeting is that the Conservatives and Lib Dems voted against a budget for Merton’s families, and against protecting services for the vulnerable," he said.

"Although each year’s budget is a complex process lasting around six months, the Lib Dems didn’t make any proposals until the very last day, and these turned out to be back-of-the-envelope ideas that would certainly have put the progress we have made at risk."

Lib Dem Councillor Hina Bokhari was disappointed that a proposed 'education innovation fund', paid for by a voluntary Council tax donation like used by Westminster Council, was shot down.

“This is was a no-brainer," she said.

"It would have potentially helped thousands of children in Merton, by looking at new ways to support educational groups like Merton Music Foundation develop new services in the borough”.

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Mr Allison added that just because a proposal was good in theory, didn't make it practical in reality.

"While some of their spending ideas seemed worthwhile, their plans to pay for them would have been disastrous, including putting relations with our workforce at risk, raiding funds for renewable energy and diverting money away from improving council services," he said.

"Merton is a business-like council, and if they are serious the Lib Dems need to engage much more rigorously and much earlier.

"Merton’s families deserve good services and we won’t put them at risk."

The opposition Tory party also put forward an amendment at the meeting to keep Little League football (a football league for youngsters) free, keep Wimbledon parking charges as they are and pledge £20,000 for tree planting in the borough.

Councillor Nick McClean said: “The deficit we have today has been caused by this administration’s financial mismanagement which tries to balance the books on the back of our children.

“Our amendment puts children first.” But the motion was not carried.