Thursday, 21 February 2013

Redcar and Cleveland Liberal Democrat Councillors call for a Council Tax freeze

Redcar and Cleveland Liberal Democrat Councillors are calling for a Council Tax freeze in response to the Labour controlled Council threatening to impose a 1.99% increase in what council taxpayers are being asked to pay.

Last year Labour raised Council Tax by 3.5%, the highest in the country.

This came despite the Government’s offer of £1.4 million to the Council if it had frozen its council tax in 2012-13.

This is the third time Labour bosses have refused the Government money to help keep Council Tax frozen. Since then, instead of spending all of this additional money on services, Labour has continued to waste taxpayers’ money on things like new furniture for the Mayor’s Parlour and alterations to the City Learning Centre.

The Council has also underspent in some areas. This proves they didn’t have to make local people pay such a massive increase last year, and as a result they should freeze the Council Tax this year.

The Government has offered councils the equivalent of a 1% Council Tax increase if they freeze Council Tax. Liberal Democrats say Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council should accept this offer which amounts to £585,000.

The Labour leadership can’t continually complain that the Council gets an unfair deal from government, then turn down Government money while hitting the pockets of local residents.

Councillor Glyn Nightingale, Lib Dem Group Leader, said:

"Labour in Redcar and Cleveland have shown that they are happy to waste Council Taxpayers money, whether it’s £1.5 million on a Vertical Pier that nobody wants, £37,600 on bird monitoring, and £125,000 doing up the Town Hall just before it was demolished.

"I am appalled at Labour's cynicism of keeping the Council Tax rise below 2% to avoid a public referendum.

"It is high time the Council’s Labour bosses started thinking about local residents."

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