THE Derbyshire Times recently carried the welcome news that Derbyshire County Council had voted, for the third year in a row, to freeze Council Tax.
Liberal Democrat Cllrs voted successfully in support of the freeze, while Labour Cllrs voted unsuccessfully in favour of increasing the tax burden on Derbyshire’s hard-pressed residents.
I am astonished though that so far there has been no coverage of the Labour Borough Councils proposals to increase Chesterfield’s Council Tax by 3.6 per cent this year.
Although the tax setting meeting is on 28th February the Labour Council have made no attempt to consult the general public – or even to simply inform them of their plans.
Such behaviour is an absolute disgrace. Even worse is the fact that they are seeking to exploit a temporary loophole which would allow them to inflict a 3.6 per cent increase without holding a referendum, whereas in most parts of the country any increase over 2 per cent has to be put to a vote of the general public.
There is no need for any increase at all.
The Government is providing an extra grant which allows Council Tax to be frozen -not just from 2011-2013 as has already been done, but for four years right through to 2015. If the Borough Council feels it needs even more money, it could always sign up to the second stage of the nationally award winning business partnership with Arvato.
A deal which is so good it is already saving Chesterfield tax payers £400,000 a year (equal to 10 per cent on Council Tax), guaranteeing existing jobs for 10 years and bringing new jobs into Chesterfield too. #
The second stage of this deal would save another £100,000 of local tax payers money – equal to 2.5 per cent on Council Tax. Yet Labour Town Hall bosses prefer an unnecessary tax increase instead.
Labour Cllrs tried to sneak through a 3.5 per cent rise last year and were prevented by a massive public outcry.
It’s not too late to stop them again. Readers should either contact John Burrows Labour Leader of the Council at the Town Hall or they can sign our online petition at www.chesterfieldlibdems.org.uk
Julia Cambridge, Chesterfield Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Campaigner.
39 The Clock Tower, Works Road, Chesterfield, S43 2PE